2016 Resolution on Women, the Girl Child and HIV and AIDS

Com­mis­sion on the Sta­tus of Women
60th Ses­sion

Analysis of precedential value

This res­o­lu­tion was pro­duced by the Com­mis­sion on the Sta­tus of Women, the lead­ing UN inter­gov­ern­men­tal body specif­i­cally address­ing gen­der equal­ity and women’s empow­er­ment, in March 2016. The United Nations Eco­nomic and Social Coun­cil reviews all of its out­come doc­u­ments and rec­om­men­da­tions, giv­ing the Com­mis­sion a direct line to the Gen­eral Assem­bly—the UN’s cen­tral forum for advanc­ing sus­tain­able devel­op­ment and the pre­em­i­nent gov­ern­ing body of the UN sys­tem.

The doc­u­ment’s “pri­or­ity theme” is “women’s empow­er­ment and the link to sus­tain­able devel­op­ment” and its review theme is “the elim­i­na­tion and pre­ven­tion of all forms of vio­lence against women and girls.”

Used as precedent

gender norms and stereotypes

Rec­og­niz­ing that women and girls are more vul­ner­a­ble to HIV infec­tion and that they bear a dis­pro­por­tion­ate bur­den of the impact of the HIV and AIDS epi­demic, includ­ing the care of and sup­port for those liv­ing with and affected by HIV and AIDS, and that this neg­a­tively affects the enjoy­ment of their human rights, includ­ing the right to health.


Deeply con­cerned also by the increased vul­ner­a­bil­ity to HIV infec­tion faced by women and girls liv­ing with dis­abil­i­ties result­ing from, inter alia, legal and eco­nomic inequal­i­ties, sex­ual and gen­der-based vio­lence, dis­crim­i­na­tion and vio­la­tions of their rights.

gender equality, key and vulnerable populations

Calls upon gov­ern­ments, inter­na­tional part­ners and civil soci­ety to give full atten­tion to the high lev­els of new HIV infec­tions among young women and ado­les­cent girls and its root causes, bear­ing in mind that women and girls are phys­i­o­log­i­cally more vul­ner­a­ble to HIV, espe­cially at an ear­lier age, than men and boys, and that this is increased by dis­crim­i­na­tion and all forms of vio­lence against women, girls and ado­les­cents, includ­ing sex­ual exploita­tion and harm­ful prac­tices.

gender equality

Calls upon Mem­ber States to inten­sify efforts to achieve gen­der equal­ity and the empow­er­ment of women and girls in all spheres of life, rec­og­niz­ing that struc­tural gen­der inequal­i­ties, dis­crim­i­na­tion, vio­lence against women and girls and harm­ful mas­culin­i­ties under­mine effec­tive HIV responses and the full and equal enjoy­ment of human rights and fun­da­men­tal free­doms by women and girls.Urges gov­ern­ments to increase polit­i­cal com­mit­ment and domes­tic financ­ing to achieve gen­der equal­ity and the empow­er­ment of women and girls through national HIV and AIDS responses tar­get­ing women and girls that respect, pro­mote and pro­tect human rights and fun­da­men­tal free­doms for women and girls, includ­ing in the con­text of the HIV epi­demic, and pro­mote equal eco­nomic oppor­tu­ni­ties and decent work for women and girls.Requests gov­ern­ments, the pri­vate sec­tor, the inter­na­tional donor com­mu­nity and funds, pro­grammes and agen­cies of the United Nations to inten­sify finan­cial and tech­ni­cal sup­port for national efforts to end AIDS and achieve gen­der equal­ity and the empow­er­ment of women and girls, focused on women and girls affected by the HIV and AIDS epi­demic, and also to inten­sify finan­cial and tech­ni­cal sup­port for main­stream­ing gen­der and human rights per­spec­tives in poli­cies, plan­ning, pro­grammes, mon­i­tor­ing and eval­u­a­tion.

societal enablers

Calls upon all gov­ern­ments to enact and inten­sify the imple­men­ta­tion of laws, poli­cies and strate­gies to elim­i­nate all forms of gen­der-based vio­lence and dis­crim­i­na­tion against women and girls in the pub­lic and pri­vate spheres and harm­ful prac­tices, such as child, early and forced mar­riage, female gen­i­tal muti­la­tion and traf­fick­ing in per­sons, and ensure the full engage­ment of men and boys in order to reduce the vul­ner­a­bil­ity of women and girls to HIV.

universal health coverage

Calls upon all gov­ern­ments to pro­mote uni­ver­sal health cov­er­age, as part of a com­pre­hen­sive social pro­tec­tion pack­age, which implies that all peo­ple have equal access, with­out dis­crim­i­na­tion of any kind, to nation­ally deter­mined sets of the qual­ity pro­mo­tive, pre­ven­tive, cura­tive, reha­bil­i­ta­tive and pal­lia­tive basic health ser­vices needed and to essen­tial, safe, afford­able, effec­tive and qual­ity med­i­cines, espe­cially through the pro­mo­tion of pri­mary health care, while ensur­ing that the use of those ser­vices does not expose the users to finan­cial hard­ship, with a spe­cific empha­sis on women, chil­dren and the poor, vul­ner­a­ble and mar­gin­al­ized seg­ments of the pop­u­la­tion.

stigma and discrimination

Calls upon Mem­ber States to address gen­der-based HIV-related stigma and dis­crim­i­na­tion against and among women and girls, so as to ensure the dig­nity, rights and pri­vacy of women and girls liv­ing with and affected by HIV and AIDS, includ­ing in edu­ca­tion, train­ing and infor­mal edu­ca­tion and the work­place.

comprehensive sexuality education, gender equality

Urges gov­ern­ments to elim­i­nate gen­der inequal­i­ties and gen­der-based abuse and vio­lence, increase the capac­ity of women and ado­les­cent girls to pro­tect them­selves from the risk of HIV infec­tion, prin­ci­pally through the pro­vi­sion of health care and ser­vices, includ­ing, inter alia, sex­ual and repro­duc­tive health care, as well as full access to com­pre­hen­sive infor­ma­tion and edu­ca­tion, ensure that women can exer­cise their right to have con­trol over, and decide freely and respon­si­bly on, mat­ters related to their sex­u­al­ity, includ­ing their sex­ual and repro­duc­tive health, free of coer­cion, dis­crim­i­na­tion and vio­lence, in order to increase their abil­ity to pro­tect them­selves from HIV infec­tion, and take all nec­es­sary mea­sures to cre­ate an enabling envi­ron­ment for the empow­er­ment of women and strengthen their eco­nomic inde­pen­dence and, in that con­text, reit­er­ates the impor­tance of the role of men and boys in achiev­ing gen­der equal­ity.

comprehensive sexuality education

Calls upon gov­ern­ments to accel­er­ate efforts to scale up sci­en­tif­i­cally accu­rate age-appro­pri­ate com­pre­hen­sive edu­ca­tion, rel­e­vant to cul­tural con­texts, that pro­vides ado­les­cent girls and boys and young women and men, in and out of school, con­sis­tent with their evolv­ing capac­i­ties, with infor­ma­tion on sex­ual and repro­duc­tive health and HIV pre­ven­tion, gen­der equal­ity and women’s empow­er­ment, human rights, phys­i­cal, psy­cho­log­i­cal and puber­tal devel­op­ment and power in rela­tion­ships between women and men, to enable them to build self-esteem, informed deci­sion-mak­ing, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and risk reduc­tion skills and develop respect­ful rela­tion­ships, in full part­ner­ship with young per­sons, par­ents, legal guardians, care­givers, edu­ca­tors and health-care providers, in order to enable them to pro­tect them­selves from HIV infec­tion.

combination prevention

Also calls upon gov­ern­ments to take con­crete long-term mea­sures to achieve uni­ver­sal access to com­pre­hen­sive HIV pre­ven­tion, pro­grammes, treat­ment, care and sup­port for all women and girls and to remove all bar­ri­ers to achiev­ing uni­ver­sal health cov­er­age and improve access to inte­grated sex­ual repro­duc­tive health-care ser­vices, infor­ma­tion, vol­un­tary coun­selling and test­ing and com­modi­ties, while build­ing the capac­ity of ado­les­cent girls and boys, young women and men to pro­tect them­selves from HIV infec­tion and enabling their use of avail­able com­modi­ties, includ­ing female and male con­doms, post-expo­sure pro­phy­laxis and pre-expo­sure pro­phy­laxis, while seek­ing to avoid risk-tak­ing behav­iour and encour­ag­ing respon­si­ble sex­ual behav­iour.Also calls upon gov­ern­ments and stake­hold­ers to inten­sify com­bi­na­tion pre­ven­tion ini­tia­tives for women and girls for the pre­ven­tion of new infec­tions and to reverse the spread of HIV and reduce mater­nal mor­tal­ity

access to health products

Address bar­ri­ers, reg­u­la­tions, poli­cies and prac­tices that pre­vent access to afford­able HIV treat­ment by pro­mot­ing generic com­pe­ti­tion, in order to help to reduce the costs asso­ci­ated with life­long chronic care and by encour­ag­ing all States to apply mea­sures and pro­ce­dures for enforc­ing intel­lec­tual prop­erty rights in such a man­ner as to avoid cre­at­ing bar­ri­ers to the legit­i­mate trade in med­i­cines and to pro­vide for safe­guards against the abuse of such mea­sures and pro­ce­dures.

key population and community leadership

Also urges gov­ern­ments to pro­mote the active and mean­ing­ful par­tic­i­pa­tion, con­tri­bu­tion and lead­er­ship of women and girls liv­ing with HIV, civil soci­ety actors, the pri­vate sec­tor, youth and young men and women’s orga­ni­za­tions, in address­ing the prob­lem of HIV and AIDS in all its aspects, includ­ing pro­mot­ing a gen­der-respon­sive approach to the national response.