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Property-grabbing from widows and orphans began long before the HIV and AIDS pandemic. However, the scale of HIV infection rates, stigmatisation and the social and economic vulnerability of widows and orphans have worsened the situation. Targets of psychological and physical harassment, dispossessed of their property and evicted from their homes, women and children are left destitute.

Too often, the personal stories of both hardship and resilience in the face of adversity are lost in the statistics and dry overviews of national policies and epidemiological trends. Excluded from statistics, these women and children become invisible.



This collection of narratives from Southern and East Africa aims to raise awareness not only about the heavy impact of HIV and AIDS in the region but also about the active steps being taken by many grassroot organisations to respond to the crisis. It is evident that while the pandemic is biting deeply into the social fabric of communities. It is also galvanising ordinary women and men to respond to with compassion and conviction, and to find innovative ways of defending and promoting the rights of HIV-affected women and children.

These stories expose the immense human cost of discriminatory laws and practices, and pointing to the social, policy and legaslative changes that are necessary to combat the pandemic effectively.

Open Access

Product information

Format : 162mm x 238mm
Pages : 144
ISBN 10 : 0-7969-2136-9
ISBN 13 : 978-07969-2136-9
Publish Year : 2006

At the time of writing, Dr Kaori Izumi was the Land Tenure and Rural Institutions Officer and HIV/AIDS Focal Point for FAO Sub-Regional Office for Southern and East Africa. She is a co-founder of Women Land Link Africa (WLLA), which is a joint initiative by COHRE, Huairou Commission, FAO and UNHABITAT. Dr Izumi has worked extensively on the issue of property grabbing from AIDS widows and orphans in Africa both at a technical and advocacy level.

FAO is a member of the Global Coalition on Women and AIDS and co-convener of thematic group on HIV/AIDS and women's property rights in partneship with the International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW)

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