17 May 2018
Women living with HIV in Rajasthan, India, have come together to lobby the State Government of Rajasthan for improved provision of social protection services. The Global Alliance for Human Rights and the Rajasthan Network of People Living with HIV organized an advocacy session in Jaipur on 15 May with more than 100 women living with HIV during which they presented their needs, including dairy booths for income generation and schooling for adolescents living with HIV.
In addition to the importance of access to social protection and economic opportunities, discussions were also held around the global 90–90–90 targets, the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV by 2020 and ending AIDS by 2030. The Indian HIV/AIDS Act 2017 and its importance in protecting against discrimination and opening access to the law in the event of human rights violations against people living with and affected by HIV in India were also discussed.
The women living with HIV presented some heartening real-life stories on their struggle to look after their families. A widow with three children said, “I am facing stigma and discrimination in my family and I am fighting hard to ensure that my rights to property are protected so that I can continue to provide good care to my children. I am under a lot of pressure to withdraw, but I will not give up the fight.”
Many commitments were made during the session. “We commit ourselves to look for legal clearance in support of the allocation of dairy booths for 1000 women living with HIV in Rajasthan,” said Devi Singh Bhatti, a politician and former member of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly.
Brijesh Dubey, of the Global Alliance for Human Rights and Rajasthan Network of People Living with HIV, concluded the event with a strong message to the officials of the Government of Rajasthan and other stakeholders present. “The Rajasthan Network of People Living with HIV will continue to focus its efforts on two major areas—firstly, the roll-out of the HIV/AIDS Act 2017 through the establishment of legal clinics and, secondly, ensuring access to quality livelihood options for people living with HIV, especially women and adolescents living with HIV.”
Read the full article online here.