South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

A training manual for civil society organisations to protect the rights of women affected by HIV in Nepal was launched to mark the Zero Discrimination Day today.

The United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS and the National Federation of Women Living with HIV and AIDS today released ‘Positive Projection: Empowering Women Affected by HIV to Protect their Rights at Healthcare Settings’.

Speaking at the programme, Renaud Meyer, country director of UNDP Nepal, said the manual is timely and essential. “The response to rights violations can only be addressed if communities at the receiving end of that discrimination are empowered,” he said, adding, “People need to know their rights and be able to find ways to protect them and access justice.”

“As we embrace the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, this training manual has a very direct link to one of the SDGs in ensuring that issues of access and issues of discrimination on the basis of health status is taken care of,” Meyer said.

While efforts have been made by the Government of Nepal to address the myriad challenges facing people living with HIV in Nepal, women continue to face rights violations, including forced and coerced sterilisation or abortion, degrading and or humiliating treatment, and denial of access to sexual and reproductive health services.

The training manual, developed by UNDP, UNAIDS, the Asia Pacific Network of People Living with HIV and the Nepal Federation of Women Living with HIV aims to address these gaps.

Speaking about challenges of women living with HIV in rural Nepal, Mathura Kunwar, president of National Federation of Women Living with HIV, was confident that the manual would empower women with the knowledge regarding their rights and ways to access facilities from health services.

“We hear many women from our networks complaining of their rights being violated at healthcare settings. Yet few of them know what to do and our fear is this may be preventing people from seeking health services,” Kunwar said.

Mohna Ansari, member, National Human Rights Commission, expressed her commitment to play a lead role in pushing this agenda.

Updated On: March 02, 2016