International Women's Day 2004

Since 1975, March 8 has been celebrated as International Women’s Day, "WOMEN & HIV/AIDS" the theme of International Women's Day this year."


International Women's Day Theme...

As we mark this year's International Women's Day, we look at the devastating toll the global HIV/AIDS epidemic is taking on women, and the critical role of women in fighting AIDS. The global AIDS epidemic crossed a significant threshold in 2003 when, for the first time, according to new statistics, half of those living with HIV were women.

Estimated number of adults and children living with HIV/AIDS in Bangladesh, end of 2001
These estimates include all people with HIV infection, whether or not they have developed symptoms of AIDS, alive at the end of 2001:
Adults and children 13,000    
Adults (15-49) 13,000 Adult rate (%) <0.1
Women (15-49) 3,100    
Children (0-15) 310    

At the outset of the epidemic in the 1980s, women were considered marginally at risk from a virus that seemed to be confined to men who have sex with men, sex workers and intravenous drug users. Now, HIV has infected tens of millions, many of them women who contracted it from their husbands or partners. AIDS has become the worst pandemic in human history – one from which no one is immune, regardless of gender, race, class or sexual orientation.

Young people are especially at risk, and particularly young women who in many countries have limited access to information and public health services.Young women and girls are less likely to be educated than young men and more prone to coercion and violence in sexual relationships. Because of their unequal status, women and girls have unequal access to prevention, treatment and care programmes. In some countries with limited resources, treatment may be reserved for certain "priority groups" such as the military or civil servants.

More than a health crisis, HIV/AIDS is a global development challenge. Discriminatory property and inheritance rights, and unequal access to education, public services, income opportunities and health care, as well as ingrained violence, render women and girls particularly vulnerable to HIV infection. Women living with HIV/AIDS suffer the additional burdens of stigma, discrimination and marginalization.

In recognition of the devastating impact AIDS has on women today, the UN Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality decided that International Women’s Day, observed annually on 8 March, would in 2004 focus on women and HIV/AIDS.

Global Coalition on Women and AIDS

The Coalition identified seven key areas for action, namely:

  • preventing HIV infection among girls and women;

  • reducing violence against women;

  • protecting the property and inheritance rights of women and girls;

  • ensuring women’s and girls’ equal access to care and treatment;

  • supporting improved community-based care with special focus on women and girls;

  • promoting access to prevention options for women, including microbicides and female condoms;

  • supporting ongoing efforts towards universal education for girls.


About International Women’s Day


UN Secretary General's Message


History - IWD

- Local Events
- International Events


- Women's Health
- Women & ICT
- Entrepreneurship
- Political Participation


Current Focus
- Women Trafficking
- Women Health
- Acid Burns
- Women with Disability
- Garments Workers

» Articles/Reports
» Policy Document
- Conventions/Laws
- Women & Constitution
- Gender Equality-MDGs
» Women's Organizations Working  in Bangladesh
» Relevant inks
» Contact
» Home Women's Day
» SDNP Home


  © Copyright and Fair Use
SDNP Bangladesh holds the © copyright to its publications and web pages but encourages duplication of these materials for noncommercial purposes. Proper citation is required.
Sustainable Development Networking Programme (SDNP)
E-17 Agargaon, Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, Dhaka-1207, Bangladesh. Email: [email protected]