An ASAP joint project with the ATHENA Network

This is a dedicated space for women living with HIV, TB and affected by malaria, and women’s rights advocates, participating in the project to strengthen the Global Fund’s action on gender. More than 35 individuals with extensive experience on gender equality, from over 20 countries, met in July 2013 to focus on how the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria can implement its Gender Equality Strategy most effectively to deliver real outcomes for women and girls and to advance gender equality. Stronger action on gender will support the Global Fund to deliver greater impact on HIV, TB and malaria and turn the course of the three diseases, yet the relationship between the Global Fund and the women’s movement has been weak to date. ASAP has been working with the ATHENA Network to support more effective organising. This is a space for them to share information and ideas. This project will roll out throughout 2013 and early 2014, focusing on 5 countries in African and Asia that are engaging in the new funding model, through direct action in those countries and through the regional ICAAP and ICASA meetings in late 2013.

Additional Documents:

A large array of documents were made available before the meeting in Geneva. The majority of these are now available on the public page. Below are a few that are made available to participants only. This includes some presentations made at the meeting.


Global Fund on “Engendering the NFM”
UNDP Draft Checklist for Inclusion of Gender Transformative Programming
Desk Review Analysis GF Rounds 8&9
Next Steps to Strengthening Women’s Engagement with the Global Fund
UNAIDS Interim Version Gender Assessment Tool for National HIV Responses
Draft ‘The Fourth Decade Of Women and HIV’ (UN Women)

Gender Equality Strategy with the NFM

Outcomes from the Retreat – inc SIIC Messages

Priority Recommendations for SIIC
Letter to SIIC
Mark Dybul’s response to ‘Letter to SIIC’

Meeting Papers

Updated Logistics Note
Participants List

Meeting with Mark Dybul and team:

Dear Friends,

It was a delight to be together in Geneva for our global retreat. The energy of such diverse women and women’s advocates was incredible and it is wonderful that there has already been so much progress, and that our energy has been sustained. Immediately after our meeting in Geneva we sent the priority recommendations and a draft Outcomes document with a letter to the SIIC Chairs and the members who joined us at the retreat. We are told that there was a good discussion at the SIIC, with good potential for future work, and we also had an immediate constructive reply from Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund.

As well as confirming that gender-disaggregated data would be collected, Mark Dybul has agreed to meet with participants to be briefed about the outcomes of the meeting and the next steps that need to happen. There will be a virtual (telephone/Skype) meeting with the Executive Director and his senior team at the Global Fund. The meeting will take place virtually on Tuesday 3rd of September at 14h30-15h30 CET (Geneva time). In advance of that we would like to create some space to discuss how we would focus and structure the discussion.

The following space below is for all participants at the meeting to have an online ‘conversation’ to discuss what you would like heard at the virtual meeting, and (ultimately) how you would like to organise your interventions.

Please do share below your thoughts below. We need to go into the meeting with a clear vision.

Some key things to think about are:

What are the main points that you feel are important?

Do you want to raise all of the recommendations in the Outcome Document?

Are there particular individuals and/or organizations that should lead on key points?

All documents from the meeting can be found here.


  1. Olive says:

    Jul 18, 2013


    Based on the ED response I realize that it is even more critical to empower the women who participate in the country process so that they can stand firm for gender sensitive country dialogue, writing team, NSP, CCM
    We can loby the PLHIV sector reps to resist signing (authenticate) the documents if the recommendation from GF is not followed.


    Jul 19, 2013


    I have given my whole wishlist. I have poured my heart out but this can be edited and further discussed and come out with what we really want the secretariat to support.

    (i) Recognition of gender inequality

    I suggest that during the discussions we summarize the different ways in which the socioeconomic and cultural aspects affect absorption of GF funded programs at country level and the role Global Fund can play in addressing this. Some of them could be programs or processes that prevents access to participation by women, reluctance of CCMs to invest in women’s participation health and cultural attitudes. GF should recognize women’s role as providers and promoters of preventive, as well as curative health care in the household and the community. Women must be seen as agents of change, and not only as beneficiaries of developed interventions.

    (ii) Consultation with all stakeholders at country level

    This is critical because it leads to a better understanding of issues and therefore a better identification of needs. Consultation and dialogue makes the processes transparent, valid and credible thus help build consensus. The process itself can raise awareness about health and about the need to address aspects of gender inequality that affect women’s health. GFS can link this group of women with partners they work with at country level for the purposes of supporting the group to have strong data on gender programming as this has been one of the missing links.

    (iii) Capacity strengthening

    This is needed in for this group. Capacity needs to be developed
    for different kinds of activities: from policy development participation to programs to management and administration, human resource, service delivery, management information system, and support for authentic consultation with Global Fund Processes. There is a need to engage with decision-makers at the highest level on gender-equality objectives and dialogue with stakeholders. Obtaining political commitments at the highest levels of Government is just as important as securing cooperation between different ministries and between the ministries, health professionals and other stakeholders. If health care systems are to respond adequately to problems caused by gender inequality, it is not enough simply to “add in” a gender component late in a given project’s development. Interventions on health system reforms, health education, health outreach and health policies and programs must consider gender from the beginning. We are always left out for ‘lack of capacity’ and if we are supported to get the above, then we can effectively engage.

  3. Robin Gorna says:

    Jul 28, 2013


    Hi all
    Many thanks to Olive and Maurine for starting to lead the discussion of what more needs to happen. These are all really good ideas and I hope we can keep the thoughts flowing.
    This is your space – not for us as organisers, so I won’t interfere with the content, but I just want to give you a little nudge about the meeting we have planned with Mark Dybul.
    We’ve had lots of replies already, but please be sure that you complete the Doodle by this Tuesday.
    Remember this is a VIRTUAL (TELEPHONE/SKYPE) meeting with Global Fund colleagues – you do NOT have to travel back to Geneva.
    And the good news is that Mark will be joined by his senior team: Osamu Kunii, Mark Edington, Marijke Wiknroks, Ade Fakoya, Motoko Seko and Kate Thomson.
    It’s a great line up from their side so let’s hope it is a great line up from your side!
    We are committed to supporting you to make it a big success – first step is to lock a date. Then over to you to decide what you want to tell them…
    Warmest wishes

  4. Zelda says:

    Aug 13, 2013


    Thank you Colleagues. I think we also need to acknowledge the efforts made by GF in addressing women and girls’ issues as many lives have been saved through GF support for treatment and other interventions.

    There is need for GF support to programs that address the root causes of the inequality and, this is work mainly done by civil society. Yet, in most countries, the participation of civil society in GF processes has been minimal. The NFM is appreciated since it promotes country dialogue. However, mechanisms need to be in place to ensure that civil society, especially women groups, are part of these processes; gender issues are on the table at all GF discussions etc. The mechanisms will ensure that even if the representation is not adequate, gender issues are discussed.

  5. Sophie Dilmitis says:

    Aug 13, 2013


    Hi all – just joining the conversation and signing up so that I get the alerts..

  6. Rina says:

    Aug 30, 2013


    Hi all – just joining the conversation and signing up so that I get the alerts..

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