ATHENA Network at AIDS2016
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Daily Download from AIDS2016

Dear friends, we are excited to bring you this daily download from the International AIDS Conference in Durban. Each day we'll share our analysis of the sessions and panels that address women and girls' health and rights throughout the conference, photos and ongoing conversations, and updates from the #WhatWomenWant campaign. 

Women's Networking Zone

The WNZ formally opened on Sunday evening with an energetic launch event, with welcoming remarks made by UNAIDS Deputy Director Luiz Loures; US Global AIDS Ambassador Deborah Birx; WNZ Steering Committee Members Ebony Johnson, Steve Letsike, Lilian Mworeko and Tyler Crone; several young women advocates, and many other dignitaries. Once again the WNZ has a packed programme of sessions including panel discussions, workshops and creative activities. See the full programme and please join us there!

Getting A Seat at the Table: Young Leaders Share the Highs and Lows of Leadership and Accountability 

First thing Monday morning ATHENA led a Link Up session with a packed room in the Global Village. A panel of youth advocates who have achieved a seat at the table, as well as more experienced advocates who champion youth leadership, shared the highs and lows of youth involvement and what it takes to achieve meaningful participation. Speakers included Mona Ndayizeye (Burundi CCM), Jacquelyne Alesi (IPM Board), Myo Htet Oo (NSP working groups), L’Orangelis Thomas Negron (UNAIDS Women’s Dialogue Platform), Mimi Melles (Partnership for RMNCAH), Linda Mafu (Global Fund Head of Civil Society & Global Policy Advocacy), and Raoul Franzen (Global Fund Communities Delegation). 

Youth-Driven Advocacy: What it Takes to Put Young People in the Driver's Seat
In a full to capacity room, five youth advocates from Link Up described their advocacy priorities and strategies, challenges to effective youth advocacy and routes to overcoming them. Chan Chan from Myanmar described challenges key population network face in advocating with government and the need for mentoring and capacity building. Nadia from Burundi talked about her project to promote knowledge and accessibility of female condoms and the barriers posed by gender norms when promoting women controlled prevention. Next, Resty from Uganda detailed the impact of gender inequality on the lives of women in her community, and her global level advocacy at the CSW and as a leader in the #WhatWomenWant campaign to be part of the solution. Claudia from Burundi talked about the RNJ+ youth centre run by and for young people living with and affected by HIV and the need for peer-led support and services. Finally, Rawnok from Bangladesh described the youth-led regional key population platforms he supported in Link Up that created space for local-level advocacy with service providers. To find out more about how to support meaningful youth participation, use the Aiming High 10 Steps for Meaningful Youth Engagement, developed for and by youth advocates as part of the Link Up project, and the Step Up, Link Up, Speak Up Mentoring Tool for youth advocacy. 

March for Quality Treatment for All

Over 8,000 activists marched on the streets of Durban for the opening of the International AIDS Conference to call for increased AIDS funding and quality treatment for all people. Organized by the Treatment Action Campaign, Health GAP, and Section 27, the march presented a call to action for global leaders, highlighted the chasm between political promises and the reality on the ground in communities most impacted, especially the high unmet need for affordable HIV treatment. Several dignitaries addressed the gathering, including South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe, South African Minister of Health Aras Motsheed, U.S. Ambassador Patrick Gaspard, US Global AIDS Ambassador Deborah Birx, and others. Sign the petition here.

DREAMing of an AIDS-Free Future for Girls
ATHENA and our partners, ICW East Africa in Uganda, Access Chapter 2 in South Africa and PIPE in Kenya, were delighted to receive the news on Monday that we have provisionally been awarded a grant in the DREAMS Innovation Challenge to implement Young Women Lead, Evidence, Advocate, Research, Network (LEARN): What does PrEP mean for young women?Young Women LEARN combines participatory action research with leadership methodologies to inform and enhance the roll-out of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) by, with and for adolescent girls and young women in their diversity in Kenya, Uganda and South Africa. In this satellite session on Monday evening, all provisional grantees were announced, and we look forward to working as part of this movement to achieve real change for adolescent girls and young women.

#WhatWomenWant from #AIDS2016

We are excited to bring this campaign to the IAC. Join the conversation on Twitter using the #WhatWomenWant hashtag and add your selfie with priorities for women. Young women champions are leading the campaign in Durban, gathering photos throughout the Global Village - look out for them and grab your sticker to get involved! On Tuesday we will be bringing the campaign to the DREAMS Networking Zone (Booth 621) from 13:00-14:00, and on Wednesday we'll be facilitating a skill-building workshop on creating your own social media campaign, in the Women's Networking Zone (Booth 620) from 12:45-13:45. Please join us!
To be treated with respect, always!
Gender equality globally
Life without judgement

Young Women's Leadership Initiative

ATHENA is collaboratively convening a YWLI with Access Chapter 2 during IAC, which meets daily in the Women's Networking Zone (Booth 620). If you or a young woman you know would like to participate in the daily briefings and activities, click here to learn more. Many YWLI champion mentors are here at the conference advocating for #WhatWomenWant!
“What happens after I get to the table? I am more than a voice. I am a body with needs. We need action *and* results.” – L’Orangelis Thomas Negron, Puerto Rico

“It was important to ask what measures are really in place to support young people and help them to get the real needs met. It was also key to hear about getting young people involved in the national strategic plans. Young people need to be involved from the beginning and through implementation to monitoring and accountability. Young people must be involved in all aspects of evaluation. It's an important part of youth ensuring needs are met, best systems are used and to address changes that need to be made” – Emilia, Namibia

“This is my first experiences. I love the global village. Everyone is sharing what they are doing and we are learning about other work and experiences. I really like it" - Mathilde Akoh, Togo

"At Living 2016 there was a focus on treatment. They asked the way forward. Women and girls need to have their rights respected and have access to treatment. In top many circumstances, their rights are denied. People living with HIV and AIDS need to part of the decision making. In terms of religion and cultural beliefs, there is an impact. We have to bridge that. WHO guidelines say we should have treatment, but how does that happen. How do we achieve 90/90/90. Like me, I am jobless. I don’t sell anything. With no new money for treatment, how am I to access it? Where does the money come from? How are we going to see change by 2030? Drug stores are telling us that there are stock outs. They have to break the gap on treatment, CD4 testing and health monitoring. Another key piece that must be corrected is training and retraining health workers. In the session, I raised the issue that as a sexually active young woman who is not married, I cant walk into a Clinic and get contraceptives. Services are not youth friendly. I am told to that I need deliverance. There is a gap there and this is even true with places that say they offer youth friendly services. When you carry out a program, you have to be responsive and ensure these problems are addressed to see change by 2030” - Gloria, Nigeria

“Young women have the potential to lead, but we need the opportunity to be there at the decision making table. Why we speak and stand today, is because we know we have a fighting chance and we can make it. We need to prove our potential. That’s why we call on all stakeholders here to invest in young women, invest in education, invest in leadership, invest in meaningful participation. We are done with tokenism,it’s time for us to lead and we are going to lead” –Annah Sango

 “[Women want] to stay protected and live a healthy life” – Nana, South Africa
 “I don’t want to be another statistic. A lot of people are dying. As the youth we are the future so we need stay protected!” – Akhona, South Africa

Tuesday's Schedule:
08:30-09:30, Women's Networking Zone
Let's Talk About it at the Zone: Young Women's Leadership Initiative Briefing
Join the conversation on Twitter: #WhatWomenWant @NetworkATHENA @AccessChapter2 #AIDS2016 #WNZ2016 #OurSolutions

11:00-12:30, Women's Networking Zone
Women’s experience, expertise and agency: Addressing gender-related and structural barriers to human rights of women living with HIV with regard to care, treatment and support
Join the conversation on Twitter: @NetworkATHENA @HIVpxresearch @SalamanderTrust @UN_Women #WhatWomenWant #AIDS2016

16:30-18:00, Global Village Youth Pavilion
Prevention Now for Women and Girls: A Rights-Based Integration Advocacy Training
Join the conversation on Twitter: #WhatWomenWant @NetworkATHENA @UNYPA @theAIDSAlliance @rnjplusburundi @_GYCA_ @HIVpxresearch @genderhealth @STOPAIDSNOW #AIDS2016 #LinkUp 

18:30-20:30, Session Room 5
Respect! Choice! Diversity! Creative and Inspiring Young Poeple from the Link Up Project Share Practical Innovative Tools They Have Developed
Join the conversation on Twitter: @NetworkATHENA @TheKCteam @UNYPA @rnjplusburundi @PSIimpact @theAIDSAlliance #WhatWomenWant #youthvoices #WhatIReallyReallyWant #GlobalGoals  #Link Up #AIDS2016

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