Who we are
The International Community of Women living with HIV Eastern Africa is a regional advocacy network and membership based organisation. ICW Eastern Africa exists to give visibility to women living with HIV in Eastern Africa. ICW Eastern Africa believes that gender inequalities and the lack of sexual & reproductive health & rights for women are at the heart of the HIV epidemic.
It has been widely recognised ‘HIV has a woman’s face’. Unfortunately women remain invisible from the processes where decisions are made on HIV policies, programmes and laws that will have an impact on women’s lives and well-being. Women in Africa who are statistically most infected, are particularly missing, and often perceived to be recipients or denied space which prevent us from accessing knowledge and information.
ICW Eastern Africa is an advocacy network run by and for HIV positive women. Our advocacy is based on evidence of our daily lived experiences to influence policies and programmes. We use participatory processes to ensure our work addresses the priorities of women living with HIV, including young women, from the grassroots.
ICW Eastern Africa’s membership is based on individuals. Membership registration is free for all women living with HIV. We are mindful of women living with HIV’s diverse backgrounds. This helps us build a collective voice with accountable representation.
A world where all HIV positive women:
- Have a respected and meaningful involvement at all political levels, local, national, regional, and international, where decisions that affect our lives are being made;
- Have full access to prevention, care and treatment; and
- Enjoy full rights, particularly sexual, reproductive, legal, financial and general health rights, irrespective of our culture, age, religion, sexuality, social or economic status/class and race.
Our Core Values
- Mutual Respect, Honesty, Integrity and Confidentiality: As a network of women living with HIV throughout the world, ICW is based on the mutual respect, honesty and integrity of its members, as well as on the assurance of confidentiality.
- Commitment to advocacy: Ensuring that women living with HIV have a voice and meaningful participation in relevant decision and policy-making bodies on important issues to our lives.
- Accountability: ICW and its policies should aim to be for the benefit of all members regardless of culture, age, religion, sexuality, social or economic status/class and race. ICW must be accountable to our members for our actions, use of funds, and for fulfilling any of our legal obligations.
- Self-determination: ICW values the transformative power of women living with HIV’s self-determined lives. Such action is essential to attain all our human rights. We value peer support and mentoring as ways to enable our peers to become more self-determined in their lives.
ICW Eastern Africa’s added value is to focus on advocacy by and for women living with HIV, based on our lived experiences & evidence, completing the efforts of organisations on the ground while facilitating access to advocacy platforms and policy-processes at national, regional and international levels. Our Sexual and Reproductive Health & Rights advocacy is unique and linked to ICW’s birth in 1992.