WASHINGTON, D.C. /eNewsChannels/ — In recognition of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and World AIDS Day, Ambassador-at-large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer announced today $3 million in small grants awarded to dozens of grassroots organizations working to prevent and respond to gender-based violence (GBV) around the world, with a link to HIV prevention, treatment and care.
These grants are part of a joint initiative between the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to address the link between HIV infection and GBV, and will support the work of 35 organizations in 28 countries. These countries include: Barbados, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Gabon, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea, Guyana, Indonesia, Malawi, Mexico, Namibia, Nicaragua, Niger, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, St. Lucia, Swaziland, Trinidad and Tobago, Ukraine, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Grants of up to $100,000 per organization will fund innovative programs that link to HIV prevention, treatment and care platforms, including those programs that work to engage community leaders in the fight against GBV and AIDS, strengthen legal and judicial systems to ensure the full enforcement of anti-GBV laws, enhance prevention and response efforts, and work to reduce stigma and harmful practices.
One in three women worldwide will experience GBV in their lifetime, and in some countries, 70 percent of female populations are affected. Gender-based violence increases women and girls’ overall vulnerability to HIV, with country studies indicating an up to three-fold risk of HIV infection among women who experience violence. Addressing gender inequities and norms is essential to reducing the vulnerability of women and girls to HIV infection. Through this initiative, grassroots organizations will receive support to address the structural drivers of both violence and HIV, contributing to a longer-term effort to create an AIDS-free generation and societies free of violence.