by Susana Fried
On July 24-25, 2008, in Kathmandu, Nepal, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the Open Society Institute (OSI) held a consultation to provide input into the development of the Global Fund’s sexual minorities strategy. By way of background, at the Global Fund’s Board meeting in November 2007 (Kunming, China) called on the Global Fund to scale up a gender-sensitive response to AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The decision (Decision Point GF/B16/DP26) recognized “the importance of addressing gender issues, with a particular focus on women and girls and sexual minorities, in the fight against the three diseases, more substantially into the Global Fund’s policies and operations.” As a result, the Global Fund has engaged in a series of activities, resulting in the current effort to develop two inter-related strategies: one on women and girls and one on sexual minorities.
Questions of terminology aside (and the consultation talked at some length about terminology, though no agreement on alternative terminology was achieved, though some principles were identified), the decision to develop two inter-related strategies, rather than a unified strategy raises some questions about the extent to which some individuals can not be separated in a “women and girls” strategy or a “sexual minorities” strategy, since they occupy both. Despite a number of challenges – in terminology and scope – the consultation focused on concrete issues that the strategy can and should confront, and provided a series of specific recommendations for the strategy. The strategy is scheduled to be released soon.
Sonia Corrêa and Hossam Baghat, SPW co-chair and partner respectively, were invited to the Kathmandu consultation but were not able to attend it. Inspired by the invitation SPW has written a short conceptual note on the antecedents and caveats of the terminology “Sexual Minorities”, which can be accessed here.