Caregiving in HIV affected households

Livelihoods programmes targeting women in Africa must be sensitive to gender inequalities and imbalances in household division of labour in order to reduce women's burden especially in caregiving in HIV affected households.

One of the review themes of the 57th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW57) is: The equal sharing of responsibilities between women and men, including caregiving in the context of HIV/AIDS. ACORD is presenting a panel discussion relevant for this topic. The panel will present strategies for addressing those imbalances in care roles related to women's outdoor livelihood initiatives. The discussion is based on results of a regional programme developed and implemented by ACORD and Oxfam in East and Central Africa. Lessons from the programme demonstrate that livelihoods strategies for women reduce imbalances if they consistently strengthen men's involvement.

CSW57 parallel event on women and caregiving in HIV affected households

Event title: Livelihoods programmes targeting women in Africa: burden or opportunity for caregiving in HIV affected households?
When: Thursday, 7 March 2013 at 2:30pm
Where: Auditorium, Taiwan Representative's Office in New York, 1 East 42nd Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10017
Download the event report in pdf.

Speakers and topics

  Dennis Nduhura
ACORD Uganda Country Director:
Tackling gender imbalances through HIV and AIDS mainstreaming in Uganda
  Ellen Bajenja
ACORD Health Thematic Manager:
Recommendations for balancing care roles in HIV affected household livelihoods

In spite of the widely acknowledged fact that women and girls bear the greatest burden of care in households affected by AIDS, livelihoods programmes targeting women in sub-Saharan Africa tend to be silent on the need to proactively address this gender imbalance in household labour. Traditionally the roles of women and girls in households are burdensome, and the situation is worse for women who are living with HIV and AIDS. Unless they are bedridden, women living with HIV and AIDS are expected to provide the needed care, which sometimes affects their choices of when and how to seek health care.

Innovative strategies

Increasingly the need to balance the burden of care in households affected by HIV and AIDS is being realised, with innovative strategies proposed like expanding access to ARVs, strengthening palliative care services, formalising community based care initiatives, protecting women's rights to property and inheritance and providing skills and capacity building for care givers. Women's economic empowerment is acknowledged as an important vehicle for securing their health and well being, since economic stability enables them to address the HIV related risks and AIDS vulnerabilities, as well as bridge the gender gaps in household labour provision.

For these initiatives to realistically and sustainably lower the burden of care on women, they need to integrate processes for a critical analysis of the gender inequalities in affected communities, particularly women's and men's unpaid tasks in households and provision of psychosocial and emotional support for people living with HIV and AIDS. These non-tangible roles although very critical are least tackled in programmes and yet they form a critical part of the care roles for both women and men in households affected by the HIV and AIDS epidemic.

Policy and programme actors need to take these aspects into consideration as they design strategies for addressing the effects of the HIV and AIDS epidemic in affected households.

ACORD is presenting a total of 5 parallel events during the CSW57th. Get list of events with time and location here.

  • advocacy
  • gender
  • hiv and aids
  • united nations
  • women
  • CSW team

    Meet the ACORD delegation attending the CSW57 in New York:

      Aminata Ndiaye Gender Thematic Manager

    Salina Sanou   Head of Policy and Advocacy
      Ousainou Ngum Executive Director
      Ellen Bajenja Health Thematic Manager
      Louis Tshiyombo Gender Expert, DRC
      Dennis Nduhura Uganda Country Director
      Clementine Ndade Responsible for Gender, Chad