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Gender-, Social-Based Discrimination, Violence Must Be Addressed To Reduce HIV In Benin

HuffPost: Society Shouldn’t Be A Roadblock To My Right To Health
Magalie Nelson, health adviser; Kate Waller, gender adviser; and Bernabe Yameogo, director, all of Plan International Canada’s Global Fund team

“…As the civil society Principal Recipient of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria HIV Grant in Benin, Plan International is committed to using a gender transformative approach to address the root causes of GBV to fight HIV. … Unequal gender norms justify and perpetuate high levels of gender-based discrimination and violence among women, girls, and key populations, including sex workers and MSM. … Progressive gender equality and justice laws and legislation exist in [Benin]. … These laws, however, have not been completely followed with needed and appropriate human rights based and gender responsive HIV services. … Based on … findings [from the national gender study of gender-based violence (GBV)], key recommendations are to: focus on changing men’s attitudes and practices towards adopting more gender equitable values and practices; increase women and girls’ economic bargaining power; develop targeted social group and whole community/family interventions to address self and collective stigmatization and design a more coordinated response to GBV focused on the needs of victims-survivors such as through emergency GBV kits…” (12/12).

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