Press statement

UNAIDS welcomes creation of new UN body for women

Geneva, 5 July, 2010 – The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) weIcomes the merging of four gender entities of the United Nations into UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. The new entity will provide a new powerful voice for women and girls and help move the AIDS response forward.

“I look forward to working with UN Women,” said UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé, “ Together we can ensure that all women living with HIV access treatment when they need it. And most importantly, we can restore their dignity and rights.”

Nearly half the people living with HIV in the world are women. In sub-Saharan Africa more women are infected than men.  HIV is a major cause of maternal mortality. It is behind nearly 1 in 5 of all maternal deaths.

Gender inequities, violence, lack of access to education, health and economic opportunities are making women vulnerable to HIV.
But by teaming up and working on common goals the AIDS movement and the women’s movement can dramatically reduce the impact of HIV on women and their families.

UNAIDS recently recognized the importance of promoting gender equality and eliminating violence and discrimination against women, by appointing the renowned singer Annie Lennox as International Goodwill Ambassador for UNAIDS. Her particular mission is to raise awareness and support for women affected by the AIDS epidemic.

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