HIV/AIDS, Gender-Based Violence Interlinked, Zambian National Assembly Speaker Mwanamwambwa Says
Amusaa Mwanamwambwa, speaker of the Zambian National Assembly, recently said that gender-based violence and HIV/AIDS are interlinked and that increased efforts should be made to address the relationship, the Times of Zambia/AllAfrica.com reports.
Mwanamwambwa was speaking to National Assembly members to commemorate World AIDS Day and the 16 days of advocacy against gender violence (Times of Zambia/AllAfrica.com, 12/4). The 16 days of advocacy against gender violence were launched Nov. 25 during the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in Lusaka, Zambia (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 11/28).
Mwanamwambwa said that social and cultural factors leave women unable to protect themselves from risky sexual behaviors and HIV transmission, adding that laws against gender violence should be strengthened and that access to reproductive health should be increased in an effort to eliminate gender-based violence. He added that businesses should implement HIV/AIDS policies and voluntary counseling and testing programs (Times of Zambia/AllAfrica.com, 12/4).
United Nations Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa Elizabeth Mataka at the IDEVAW launch called on women to openly discuss and increase awareness of how gender-based violence is contributing to the spread of HIV among women (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 11/28).