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|Credit: awottawa, www.sxc.hu
From the moment AIDS-Free World was created, we fought for the establishment of a new international agency for women. That’s three full, unrelenting years.
The driving motivation was the deep conviction that we could change the course of the AIDS pandemic if a new women’s agency could bring to the world’s attention the abomination of women’s disproportionate vulnerability.
We arrived at that conviction by virtue of our unusual position: we are UN outsiders with inside knowledge and access. While we are too often dismayed and appalled at the entrenched culture of sexism, apathy and inefficiency at the United Nations, we are also well aware that many of the injustices that fuel the pandemic can only be ended through an effective multilateral system.
Finally, with the addition of its newest agency, UN Women, to the consortium that makes up UNAIDS, the UN has taken the first important step toward ending the most prevalent and destructive force driving the AIDS pandemic: discrimination against women. We will remain fully engaged, applying whatever pressure is necessary to ensure that UN Women lives up to its vast potential – with all the passion, the urgency and the range of expertise that have been missing from the UN’s “gender architecture” to date.