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UNAIDS: New documentary film to stop violence against women and girls

New documentary film to stop violence against women and girls
from UNAIDS, August 30, 2011

Credit: Sonke Gender JusticeA new documentary film following the lives of four people in Africa aims at challenging patriarchy, end men’s violence against women and promote gender equality. Produced by Sonke Gender Justice and MenEngage, the film, titled A Way to Justice: Engaging Men for Women’s Rights and Gender Transformationfocuses on gender, HIV and human rights issues.

“We need to build creative initiatives, to transform gender norms and break through cultural barriers to create new masculinities. By fostering women and men’s leadership for gender equality, we can succeed in creating safer, more just societies and stopping violence against women and girls.” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS.

In the film individuals speak about the difficulties they confronted and transcended. David Tamba, a Sierra Leonean fleeing from civil war whose wife was gang-raped by rebels, began working with other men in refugee camps. “All men were viewed as bad men. But there were also men who were peaceful, who equally suffered, so the way to turn the story around was to start talking to our colleague men and go out and campaign for gender equality and empowerment of women,” said Mr Tamba.

Violence and the threat of violence hamper women and girls’ ability to adequately protect themselves from HIV infection and assert healthy decision making. The prevalence of forced first sex among adolescent girls younger than 15 years ranges between 11% and 45% globally. Adolescent girls and young women are among the most vulnerable groups to HIV infection.

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