ICW Eastern Africa advocates in 3 thematic areas, Violence Against Women (VAW) being a cross-cutting issue:
- Access to Care, Treatment and Support including prevention (ACTS) and
- Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) including Maternal Health (MH),
- Meaningful Involvement of Women living with HIV at all levels in policy & decision making (GIPA/MIWA).
ICW Eastern Africa aims to build a political and collective civil society voice from local to regional and international levels holding to account governments and institutions at all levels and ensure commitments are translated into actions.
ICW Eastern Africa supports HIV positive women, with a specific focus on young women, to stand up for our rights often violated, and influence our environment for an in-depth change of our societies.
We do this by:
Creating safe spaces & mobilising women living with HIV, including young women, providing mentoring & solidarity, sharing our experiences and life-saving information about our needs, our health and our rights,
Building the capacity of women living with HIV, including young women, in treatment, health, & rights literacy and influencing skills for change of policies, attitudes and myths,
Researching our concerns and issues often missing from academic, scientific & development circles as well as women, HIV and human rights movements, yet critical to HIV policies,
Building bridges and opening dialogues with policy-makers, health providers, the press & media, women & human rights organisations and HIV positive people’s networks,
Holding to account, by monitoring political commitments (related to HIV and women’s human rights) or offering policy & legal alternatives, while lobbying at all levels.
We influence for HIV positive women’s rights and places in circles where decisions that affect our lives are being made at national, regional and international levels.
Our Regional Strategic Plan
The first ICW Eastern Africa’s Regional Strategic Plan was developed in 2008 by the newly elected Regional Board who prioritised the following areas up until to 2012:
- Enhance the Internal Institutional capacity and organizational development of ICW EA to effectively and efficiently respond to the needs and challenges of positive women in the region,
- Strengthen the capacities of members, member organizations and their networks to initiate and implement projects for treatment care and support, coping and impact mitigation and for improved SRHR,
- Support members, member organizations and networks to advocate at national and regional levels for respect to commitments, protocols, and declarations and for improved Access to Prevention, Care, Treatment and Support (ACTS) and promotion of SRHR among positive women,
- Enhance sharing of experiences, knowledge and skills among the members and member organizations and their networks working on ACTS and SRHR and other concerns of positive women in the region.
Regional Strategic Plan 2014/2016 – 2018/2019
The roles of ICW Eastern Africa in the next 5 years are;
• Watchdog for women’s Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and human rights monitoring
•A ‘vehicle’ for training women living with HIV
•Community and movement building in Eastern Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa -An equal partner leading coalitions at all levels through the establishment of reliable alliances
RSP Goal: Health justice for women living with HIV with full Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and universal access to quality comprehensive prevention, treatment, care and support
Advocacy routes and priorities:
• Full sexual and reproductive health and rights (not just family planning, rights to have children etc.)
• Freedom from institutional discrimination and violence (with a focus on prevention of vertical transmission services)
• Focusing on the institutional discrimination generated by international policies, national legal frameworks and everyday practice in hospitals targeting the sexual and reproductive health and rights and women’s human rights
Advocacy role with civil society: Watchdog for women living with HIV’s SRHR and HR in public health policies, laws & practices
Lines of policy analysis, policy implementation research & monitoring:
• The impact of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on HIV and SRHR in International and national public health policies on discrimination and violence against women living with HIV and women at large. • National legal frameworks restricting SRHR
• Discrimination and human right violations, particularly SRHR, in health facilities
• International, regional and national funding environment with cross-cutting engagement on gender inequality at large