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Property Rights and HIV/AIDS: Empowering Women to Save Lives Hema Swaminathan International Center for Research on Women June 7, 2005. Key Points. Women are now the global face of the HIV/AIDS epidemic with enormous and direct implications for household food security and welfare

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Property Rights and HIV/AIDS:Empowering Women to Save LivesHema SwaminathanInternational Center for Research on WomenJune 7, 2005
key points
Key Points
  • Women are now the global face of the HIV/AIDS epidemic with enormous and direct implications for household food security and welfare
  • To ensure household food security and welfare, we must address women’s rights to own and control property
  • Ensuring women’s property rights is critical to reduce transmission of HIV and help households cope with the consequences of the epidemic
an increasingly feminized epidemic
An Increasingly Feminized Epidemic
  • Women are more vulnerable to HIV than men – due to their biology, their economic status, and prevailing gender inequalities
  • Since 2002, the number of women living with HIV has increased in every region
  • Today, nearly 50 percent of all adults living with HIV globally are women
  • In sub-Saharan Africa, that percentage is close to 60 percent, and 76 percent of young people (15-24 years) living with HIV are female
women agriculture and food security
Women, Agriculture, and Food Security
  • Women contribute to all 3 pillars of food security:

production, access, nutrition security

  • Produce 60–80 percent of the food
    • In sub-Saharan Africa women produce about 80 percent of household food, in Asia women do 50–90 percent of the work in rice fields
  • Women’s incomes are more strongly associated with improvements in children’s welfare/ nutrition
  • Women are the gatekeepers of household nutrition security
importance of property rights
Importance of Property Rights
  • Economic assets, instead of just income, provide:
    • Protection against economic shocks
    • Site of economic production
    • Economic risk-taking
    • Form of wealth with which to gain access to credit
    • Access to productive inputs and extension services
    • Greater bargaining power and decision making within the household
importance of women s property rights in context of hiv aids
Importance of Women’s Property Rights in Context of HIV/AIDS
  • Reduces vulnerability to HIV risk factors
  • Provides economic resources to HIV-affected households
  • Ensures future provision of care and adequate resources for children
denial of women s property and inheritance rights has consequences
Denial of Women’s Property and Inheritance Rights has Consequences
  • Increased numbers of female-headed households who suffer substantial permanent loss of assets and “property grabbing”
  • Destitution may also increase women’s vulnerability to sexual harassment, exploitation, and transactional sex
  • Inter-generational poverty rises as household assets are fragmented and orphans are impoverished
current status of women s property rights
Current Status of Women’s Property Rights
  • Lack of sex-disaggregated data makes it difficult to be definitive
  • Women control land and productive assets less frequently than men do
    • In Brazil (2000), women owned 11 percent of land.
    • In Pakistan (2001), women owned less than 3 percent of the plots.
    • In Cameroon (1995), women held fewer than 10 percent of land certificates.
  • More women have access rights as compared to ownership rights
the response
The Response
  • Additional legislative reform
  • Documentation and evaluation
  • Using evidence for advocacy and policy change
  • Giving greater support and visibility to creative and innovative interventions by community-based organizations
key points1
Key Points
  • Women are now the global face of the HIV/AIDS
  • We must address women’s rights to own and control property