Advancing Gender Equity and Human Rights in the Global Response to HIV/AIDS

The ATHENA Network (ATHENA) is a global network of individual and institutional members that has been at the forefront of ensuring the centrality of gender equality and human rights in the HIV response since 2006. ATHENA’s regular partners include more than 31 global, regional, and national networks and organisations of women living with HIV and 16 networks and organisations of women from key populations, including women who use drugs, sex workers, caregivers, and women from LGBTI communities, as well as many other women’s rights and sexual and reproductive health and rights organisations.

ATHENA works across three strategic and mutually reinforcing areas:

  1. Agenda-setting, policy formulation, and investment in women: ATHENA collaborates and consults with partners to comprehensively and inclusively promote women’s rights, and multi-directional learning and dialogue, with a specific emphasis on women and young women living with HIV and the knowledge and experience they bring.
  2. Leadership and capacity-building, of young women, women living with HIV, and those most affected by HIV, both individually and organisationally: ATHENA’s work strengthens the capacity and technical expertise of CSOs and networks of women living with HIV and other key populations of women to engage with global, regional, and national HIV policy, accountability, and resource allocation processes.
  3. Movement-building through our convening and catalyst function: ATHENA’s physical and virtual organising bridges movements and sectors, provides a hub for knowledge exchange, fosters communities of practice, and builds civil society demand for greater government accountability and investment.

ATHENA’s mission is to:

  • Advance the recognition, protection, and fulfillment of women’s and girls’ human rights, comprehensively and inclusively, as a fundamental component of the response to HIV and AIDS.
  • Ensure gender equity in HIV-related research, prevention, diagnosis, treatment, care, and the development of interventions based on a gendered analysis.
  • Promote and facilitate the leadership of women and girls, especially those living with HIV, in all aspects of the response to HIV and AIDS.
  • Bridge the communities around the world that are addressing gender, human rights, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and HIV.

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