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Mainstreaming gender in HIV programs: issues, challenges and way forward [Eastern J Med]
Eastern J Med. 2011; 16(2): 153-159

Mainstreaming gender in HIV programs: issues, challenges and way forward

Aprajita Mukherjee1, Madhumita Das1

It is increasingly being recognized that gender inequality is a critical factor fuelling the HIV epidemic in India and elsewhere in the world. To undertake a research and programmatic review to understand how gender has been integrated in existing HIV interventions in India and to highlight the challenges associated with gender mainstreaming to propose recommendations to fill the gaps. Review of literature both published and grey along with exploration of selected HIV program both HIV focused (targeted interventions) and non HIV focused programs interventions across the country. While gender mainstreaming as a process finds mention in program plans and priorities, efforts to operationalize gender within HIV prevention programs have not been easy. This is largely due to the structure of programs which are target driven and defined. While efforts to reduce structural vulnerability of women to HIV like violence against women have been introduced in some targeted interventions, they are largely perceived as ‘additional components’ which put emphasis on service delivery. The lack of gender sensitive indicators presents another challenge for most programs. To reduce the vulnerability and risk of women to HIV, current HIV programming in India should expand its focus from only ‘risk reduction’ to include ‘vulnerability reduction’ measures as well so that structural inequities that emanate from gendered relations are addressed within programs. In this effort, men along with women should be seen as allies leading this process. In addition, gender indicators should be developed that are mapped regularly along with service delivery indicators to measure impact of program. A robust monitoring and evaluation mechanism should be considered a critical part of project design and delivery.

Keywords: Gender, gender mainstreaming, HIV/AIDS, gender based violence, vulnerability, risk reduction


Aprajita Mukherjee, Madhumita Das. Mainstreaming gender in HIV programs: issues, challenges and way forward. Eastern J Med. 2011; 16(2): 153-159


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