44th Global Fund Board meeting: W4GF Advocacy statement Promote and protect human rights and gender equality: now – and for the road ahead!

In advance of the 44th meeting of the Global Fund Board read Women4GlobalFund (W4GF) Advocacy Statement available here.
 
W4GF is extremely concerned at the apparent slipping back in respect of gender equality – a major concern given that this is so central to the current Strategy as SO3.
 
We applauded the guidance to countries on COVID-19 and C19RM, and the clear steer given on addressing human rights challenges, especially the alarming rise in gender based violence as well as challenges with access to sexual and reproductive health service. Now we are alarmed that there is insufficient information, and it seems very little action at country level, to address these major human rights abuses. W4GF Advocates in implementer countries identify weak accountability and poor information flows to the women who have played a role in identifying country priorities. We need the Global Fund to address this as a matter of importance.
 
W4GF is also alarmed by the weak support on gender equality provided by the Global Fund secretariat to support countries in all of their applications for support. We have noted this in our submission to the Global Fund Strategy development process, but we cannot wait until 2023 for this to be put right. The TRP Lessons Learned (from Windows 1 and 2) show that the funding requests received this year are not strong on gender equality – and indeed that gender equality is the weakest aspect of these proposals.  We hope that reports from Window 3 will show improvement, but W4GF Advocates have not yet seen substantial progress beyond engagement. This will damage all of our efforts to address HIV, TB and Malaria.
 
W4GF very much hopes that the Global Fund leadership will be able to raise these matters at the forthcoming Board meeting, and that there are plans to address them.