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ICW fights for the SRHR rights of women living with HIV.

ICW and its sister networks of women living with HIV have been at the forefront of efforts to confront reproductive coercion, particularly forced and coerced sterilization. Commencing with the first identification of the project ICW’s sister network the Namibian Women’s Health Network first drew broad attention to the issue and including serving as an interested party in the litigation in Kenya, the case ICW and partners brought before the Commission on Gender Equality as well as support for countries working to document this practice and strengthen avenues to justice.

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Confronting Coercion: Increasing Accountability for SRHR violations.

A panel discussion led by ICW to explore evolving strategies to increase accountability for women living with HIV who have experienced violations of their SRHR and we will present preliminary findings of our global scan. 


ICW and its sister networks of women living with HIV have been at the forefront of efforts to confront reproductive coercion, particularly forced and coerced sterilization.

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Breastfeeding and HIV:   Advancing sexual and reproductive rights

In this session, we aim to inform women living with HIV by safeguarding their human rights and promoting informed and autonomous decision-making on infant feeding practices through evidence-based discussions, likewise, to strengthen sexual and reproductive rights, ensuring the well-being and autonomy of mothers living with HIV.

ICW’s Breastfeeding Principles +

For too long women living with HIV have been confronted with incongruous and ambiguous messages regarding infant feeding practices, particularly breastfeeding.  Moreover, we  assert a right to make informed and autonomous decisions about infant feeding -restrictions on breastfeeding that are not evidence-based violate human rights and represent a form of obstetric violence, rooted in stigma, discrimination, and prejudice.

This World Breastfeeding week, ICW celebrates the recent policy brief shared by the World Health Organization (WHO), signifying a critical step towards recognizing the right of all women with HIV to make informed choices to breastfeed or to formula feed. Through our advocacy efforts and commitment to informed decision-making, we strive to cultivate an environment that upholds the dignity and autonomy of women living with HIV in all their diversity. 


Women Living with HIV demand:

  1. Accurate and unbiased information about the risks and benefits of breast or chestfeeding;

  2. The right to decide about our bodies and our infant feeding choices;

  3. Shame, stigma and discrimination free decision-making;

  4. An end to paternalistic and medicalized practices which prioritize eliminating vertical transmission over women’s and transmen’s agency, autonomy and informed consent;

  5. Woman and person centered support to fulfill our desires to breast or chestfeed including access to treatment, adherence support, psychosocial support, and lactation support.

  6. Freedom from obstetric violence and reproductive coercion.

  7. Freedom from criminalization of transmission and other punitive measures taken against women living with HIV and our sisters in key populations with HIV who desire to breastfeed   

These demands are grounded in our fundamental human rights and the pursuit of reproductive justice ,which is defined as the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities.  By upholding these principles, we strive to create an environment that respects and protects the rights of mothers and pregnant women living with HIV, enabling them to exercise their reproductive autonomy without stigma and discrimination.

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