02 December 2016
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
World Aids Day
Yesterday was World Aids Day. The movement of Abahlali baseMjondolo held a youth workshop to discuss this disease. There are a lot of beliefs that people have about this disease some of which are myths. We spoke about these beliefs being careful to seperate the myths from the reality. 56 young representatives from all our branches in and around Durban attended this workshop which was held at the Prince Edward Hall. The aim was for us to educate ourselves so that this knowledge can then be spread in the branches. The youth in this country are the ones that are infected the most in our society, so the movement took an initiative to empower young people with knowledge.We discussed how the disease is contracted (including what role impoverishment and gender inequality play in this) and how medication can infected keep people alive and healthy and stop the transmission of the virus from women to their babies. We also discussed how health questions are political questions. We talked about how this disease hits impoverished people the hardest and how it was as a result of struggle and building alliances across society that access to medication was won. We also discussed the crisis in the public health care system and how we need to make alliances to struggle for decent health care for all.
The HIV pandemic is a social justice issue. To resolve this issue we need decent health care for all, an end to impoverishment and real equality between women and men.
We are proud to have had HIV positive people in leadership positions in of our movement.
We also discussed the 16 days of activism against the abuse of women and children campaign, which began on November 25th. There is a history in our country of women not being treated as adults and we have some concerns about how this campaign puts women and children into the same category. However we have taken a strong position against domestic violence and all other forms of abuse in our movement. We are clear that this is not just a personal matter but that it is also a political matter. For this reason we see this high profile national campaign as an opportunity to raise the discussion of gender equality and gender based violence in all our work.
Zandile Nsibande – 062 947 1947
Lisa Nene – 074 859 6880
Thapelo Mohapi – 062 892 5323