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ICW Announces New International Steering Committee Chair, Vice Chair and Treasurer

The International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW) International Steering Committee (ISC) has elected Charity Mkona of Malawi, ICW Southern Africa as Global Chair; Kneeshe Parkinson of Missouri, USA, ICW North America as Vice Chair, and Immaculate Owomugisha Bazare (Uganda, ICW Eastern Africa) as Treasurer. ICW installed the new slate of ISC Officers on Thursday, October 7, 2021.


“I am honored and excited to be elected the Global Chair of ICW’s International Steering Committee. I want to thank outgoing Chair Olena Stryzhak for her commendable leadership through a challenging period of transition for the organization with our team and I look forward to leading ICW and to build the power of our organization to pursue effective advocacy and grow our movement for the next generation,” said Charity Mkona, ICW Global Chair.

This Executive Committee will be supported in their new duties by outgoing Global Chair, Olena Stryzhak (Ukraine, Eurasian Women’s Network on AIDS) who will remain on the ISC, and by the rest of the ISC which is composed of women living with HIV leaders from around the world. “Since 2018, when I was appointed Interim Chair, I have been working closely with ICW leadership to strengthen the organization. I am proud of our team and what we have accomplished and I feel confident to step away, with ICW in a stronger position structurally and continuing our impactful advocacy because of our collective hard work. Charity will be a fresh new voice to lead our movement,” said Olena Stryzhak outgoing Interim Global Chair.


Meet our new ICW Leaders:


Charity T. Mkona, (she/her) a feminist and motivational speaker, born in Malawi. She is a professional Public Relations, Finance, and Personnel Management Specialist working in a variety of capacities with the United Nations, private sector and other international organizations. Charity has engaged in the HIV and AIDS epidemic and SRHR responses at different levels including serving as the Chair of ICW Southern Africa and working to strengthen ICW Malawi. Serving at national and international capacities on HIV/AIDS initiatives, she works to build the power of women and to lift up women’s strength and change the way the world perceives women's strength. She firmly believes in the adage Together We Can! Nothing for Us, Without Us!!



Kneeshe Parkinson (she/her) is honored to serve as your newly elected Vice-Chairwoman. For over 2 decades she has dedicated her lived experience and professional career to advancing the rights and well-being of women living with HIV and confronting the negative social determinants of health that plague our marginalized communities and world. She is currently a content expert working with Center for Quality Improvement & Innovation (CQII) ECHO Project collaborative for Black African-American & Latina women. Throughout her career Kneeshe has provided comprehensive care for those thriving beyond HIV and offered preventive resources and more recently- webinars as a spokesperson for ”Ending the HIV epidemic” “Reducing stigma matters!” and “Leading women is where she leads.”



Immaculate Owomugisha Bazare (she/her) is a practicing gender and health justice lawyer working with Uganda Network on Law, Ethics and HIV/AIDS (UGANET). She is dedicated to advocating and promoting rights of vulnerable and marginalized people through litigating health-related rights abuses at national and regional levels. She promotes SRHR focusing on women living with HIV in Uganda. Immaculate’s work on challenging criminalization of people living with HIV, challenging coerced and forced sterilization speaks on how to end violence against women and girls.


ICW’s Current International Steering Committee


Executive Committee

  • Charity Mkona, ICW Southern Africa, Global Chair

  • Kneeshe Parkinson, ICW North America, Vice Chair

  • Immaculate Owomugisha Bazare, ICW Eastern Africa, Treasurer

  • Olena Stryzhak, Eurasian Women’s Network on AIDS (EWNA), Global Chair Emeritus

ISC Members

  • Norlela Mohktar, ICW Asia Pacific

  • Sarah Feagan, ICW Asia Pacific

  • Diana Weekes, ICW Caribbean

  • Valérie Maba Esmo Mouellet, ICW Central Africa

  • Zhenya Mailyan, EWNA

  • Hilda Esquivel, ICW Latina

  • Arely Cano, ICW Latina

  • Souhaila Bensaid, MENA Rosa,

  • Chantal Mukandoli, ICW North America

  • Helen Irene K. Aphan, ICW Western Africa

  • Sharifah Kyomukama, Chapter of Young Women, Adolescents & Girls

The ISC will be hosting an information session and global update for ICW members on Tuesday, October 26th at 9:00 New York/10:00 Buenos Aires/14:00 Lagos/ 16:00 Nairobi/20:00 Bangkok To register or find out more contact: info@wlhiv.org


We encourage all women living with HIV to join the ICW Exchange and keep up to date with ICW news and events. To sign up please click here or contact info@wlhiv.org.

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