ICW Asia Pacific
Anandi Yuvaraj, ICW’s first Asia Pacific regional coordinator, has been in post since June 2008. But in that short time she has accomplished an amazing amount.
A message from Anandi...
As the first Regional Coordinator, one of my key tasks is to build up ICW in the Asia Pacific region as a strong advocacy platform. My job is to evaluate what ICW’s work here should be and to make recommendations on regional work. This is very much in line with our Global ICW strategic vision towards regional autonomy.
MEETING HIV POSITIVE WOMEN IN THE REGION
Already we have initiated a number of informal and formal engagements with a range of stakeholders to plan our work in the region and find out about the incredible work being done by HIV positive women’s networks in the region and their major concerns.
A ‘think tank’ meeting was organised in early October 2008 with the financial support of UNIFEM’s South East Asia Office. Women underlined the importance for ICW to ensure that representatives from the region are selected in a way which achieves full accountability and transparency for members. There were also recommendations to increase the visibility of ICW in the region.
As a follow up to the think tank, meetings were planned with the Cambodian Positive Women’s Group, the Thai Positive Women’s Network, the Positive Women’s Network in India, the Indonesia Positive Women Network (IPPN) and other ICW members throughout the region. These visits were very inspiring and motivated us to further our work in this region.
STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT AND GOVERNANCE
Since the Think Tank meeting ICW has held an election to replace the current ISC co-chair, Bev Greet, from Australia. We are proud to announce that Mony Pen from Cambodia has been elected.
We have also commissioned the help of a consultant based in Bangkok to develop an ICW Asia Pacific Strategic Plan for 2009-2011. The preliminary report will be available at the end of April. The report will
- explore the priority areas for ICW in the region
- identify priority countries, strategies for resource mobilisation and for partnerships with various regional players
Copies will be sent to all members.
LEADERSHIP TRAINING WORKSHOP IN KATHMANDU
ICW had a strong role in facilitating the Asia Pacific Women’s Leadership in HIV/AIDS training workshop, held in Kathmandu, Nepal from March 16 - April 3, 2009 (programme partners - CEDPA, ICRW, ICW, NMAC, GCWA/UNAIDS). Beri Hull, our global advocacy officer and I represented ICW and helped design and facilitate sessions on sexual and reproductive rights (SRR) and on the greater involvement of people living with HIV (GIPA) with invaluable support from ICW members Ekta, Sita, Maura and Svelta. We also held an informal networking meeting and were delighted that many women became ICW members on the spot. We look forward to continuing working with them and other wonderful HIV positive women from the region in the upcoming months.
MEETING REGIONAL FRIENDS
I have met with regional players such as AusAID, the AIDS Alliance, UNIFEM-South Asia, UNAIDS, 7-Sisters Coalition, APCASO, Help Age India and Save the Children UK to ensure that organisations working on HIV in the region are fully supportive of programmes and networks that promote HIV positive women’s rights.
In ICW News 44 we hope we have provided readers with a snap shot of some of the experiences of, and great work being done by HIV positive women in the region.
Previous ICW project in the region...
VOICES AND CHOICES - RESEARCHING WOMEN'S EXPERIENCES OF SRH IN THAILAND
A project led by positive women to explore the impact of HIV on their sexual behaviour, well being and reproductive rights, and to promote improvements in policy and practise. The Voices and Choices project was a participatory research and advocacy project of the International Community of Women Living With HIV/AIDS in conjunction with country partners, The Power-of-Life and the Mahidol University Institute for Population Research in Thailand. The objective of the project was to document positive women's distinctive experiences of sexual and reproductive health: sexual relationships, contraceptives, pregnancy, childbirth and abortion and use the findings for advocating to improve the situation of HIV positive women in these areas. Reports from the projects are available on the research and documentation page.