It is no coincidence that in countries and regions with high HIV/AIDS prevalence, women tend to have a lower position in society. But exactly what are the linkages between how women and girls are valued and their risk for HIV/AIDS? A significant factor is the ability to make choices. Women's lack of power relative to men gives them less bargaining power in negotiating the use of condoms to protect themselves. Poverty and lack of alternative options lead women to use survival strategies, including prostitution and exchange of sex for resources. To improve women's position in society and give them more control over their life choices, the perceived value of women and girls must change.
Project Manager, HealthBridge Foundation of Canada
Lisa MacDonald has five years of professional experience working to improve the health of vulnerable populations. She joined HealthBridge Foundation of Canada in June of 2011 as a Project Manager and works primarily in the areas of maternal and child health and promotion of gender equality in South and South-east Asian countries. She holds a Master’s degree in Health Studies and Gerontology from the University of Waterloo.
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