Gender Health from Violence to HIV: Women are Breaking the Silence

26. June 2006 18:00

The Austrian Foundation for World Population and International Cooperation cordially invite you to the
Gender Health from Violence to HIV:Women are Breaking the Silence
at the Wiener Städtische Versicherung Schottenring 30, 1010 Wien

All over the world, women have led brave and inspiring campaigns against HIV and violence against women. They have achieved dramatic changes in laws, policies and practices.The Conference will bring together 4 leading, empowered women from the Philippines, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan/Austria, who are breaking barriers and gaining ground in the battle against these issues:

Justine RUKEBA MBABAZI, Rwanda.
The issues I am dealing with are big - Justice and reconciliation. I feel I have to push until there is a legal framework to prevent it from happening again. I know I am the voice of a big congregation of women, not only in Rwanda.
A survivor of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Justine Mbabazi is one of the new female leaders in her homeland. Her achievements are many: A lawyer who drafted Rwanda's first legislation against gender-based violence, former country director of the American Bar Association in Rwanda, and former executive director of a legal network and bro bono worker of a women’s movement in Rwanda that brought the rights of women to the forefront of national politics and played a critical role in the debate over a new and effective constitution in Rwanda today. As international lawyer and gender expert, Ms. Mbabazi is presently is a mentor and a trainer of the first defense female lawyers in Afghanistan who defends over 500 women victims of Gender Based Violence.

Karen F. VILLANUEVA, Philippines.
One of the youngest legislators in Asia. Karen is currently a City Councilor of Bais, Negros Oriental, Philippines. She has been a staunch advocate of women's rights and lead campaigner against VAW since her student days. She is actively involved in a new program in colloboration with Women without Borders called Men for Change—that seeks to combat domestic violence by involving men.

Dr. Maha AL MUNEEF, Saudi Arabia
An activist as well as a medical doctor. Coming from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where women's rights are still suppressed, she breaks the silence in her efforts against domestic violence, child abuse and HIV/AIDS. She is currently one of the few women pediatricians at the King Fahad National Guard Hospital in Riyadh.

Nasra HASSAN, Pakistan

Nasra Hassan has worked in Pakistani television and has written extensively on women's identities and is an acknowledged expert on female suicide bombers. Currently, she is with the UN and is the Director of United Nations Information Service and Spokesperson of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna.

Spearheaded by the Austrian Foundation for World Population and International Cooperation in cooperation with the United Nations Fund for Population Activitiies (UNFPA) and Women Without Borders, the gathering provides an excellent venue for discussion, dialogue and debate among stakeholders on inter-linked gender, sexuality and rights concerns and in the process look to solutions that address the practical needs of both men and women to effectively address HIV/AIDS and VAW.

Opening: Honorable Maria Rauch-Kallat
The Austrian Minister for Health and Women.
Moderator: Dr. Edit Schlaffer

With the special performance of the Alankara Indian Music Ensemble led by Alexei Stroganov. All the members of  the ensemble had their pure traditional training in India, directly from  great Indian masters. (

For Conference Registration and Information, please contact:, +43 1 585 76 99

We are looking forward to welcome you! The SWI team

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Our heartfelt gratitude to the Wiener Städtische Versicherung for their generous support to this endeavour.


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