Male-Dominated Cultures May Put Women More At Risk for HIV/AIDS in Africa
Women participating in the 12th International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Africa declared that cultural attitudes assuming male domination over women and a lack of women’s rights contribute to the spread of HIV/AIDS among African women. Of the 28.1 million people living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, 55 percent are women, according to conference participants. Marie-Louise Ndala Musuamba, president of the Kinshasa Court of Appeal in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, cited rape, polygamy, and lack of educational and economic opportunities for women as factors leading to the higher percentage of women infected with the virus. Musuamaba also noted cultural myths surrounding HIV/AIDS, specifically the myth that having sex with a virgin can cure men with AIDS. Earlier this month South Africans in Johannesburg demonstrated against the surge in rapes of children in that country. Many victim support groups and anti-rape organizations point to the belief that having sex with virgins cures AIDS as one of the reasons behind the increase in child rape.
Media Resources: UN Wire, 12/13/01; Reuters, 12/6/01
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .