Ethiopia: Sixty refugee women attend HIV/AIDS awareness raising workshop
27 May 2009

Refugee women are even more vulnerable to SGBV and in turn HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia. (Peter Ballais SJ/JRS)
The workshop aimed at building awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS in relation to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).
Addis Ababa, 27 May 2009 JRS Ethiopia together with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Development Inter-Church Aid Commission/Refugee and Returnee Affairs Department (DICAC/RRAD) held a full day workshop on HIV/AIDS for 60 refugee women.

The workshop aimed at building awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS in relation to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), to help women understand their own rights and to empower them to fight SGBV. Besides, the workshop was meant help refugee women understand the negative consequences of harmful traditional practices like female genital mutilation (FGM), early marriage, and their relation to HIV/AIDS.

The workshop started with a brief explanation about how HIV/AIDS is related to SGBV. Participants were also made familiar with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) of SGBV, which are meant to protect women from becoming victims of SGBV and other forms of injustices. These procedures were developed recently by refugee committee members, the refugee women’s association and different agencies who work closely with refugees. JRS also took an active part in the development and drafting of the principles.

Participants actively participated in the discussions and raised different questions related to SOPs and SGBV. At the end of the workshop, participants expressed their appreciation and gratitude, especially for the opportunity to learn more about the SOPs and SGBV. The programme was closed with a song performed by refugees from the HIV/AIDS club which, under the supervision of DICAC/RRAD supports refugees who are HIV positive.     







Press Contact Information