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Stigmatization and Discrimination of HIV/AIDS Women in Kenya: A Violation of Human Rights and its Theological Implications

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Despite spirited efforts by the African governments, the church, faith based organizations, non-governmental organizations, individuals and communities, available statistics confirm that the AIDs epidemic continues to advance. This has been exacerbated by grinding poverty, patriarchal gender power relations that render women powerless, damaging practices supported by both traditional and modern cultures, ineffective health care systems, stigma and discrimination. Women and girl children suffer in greater proportions relative to men. Their human rights have been violated inside and outside the church. There is therefore a need to prioritize women's human rights in order for nation states and individuals to implement successful public health strategies, behaviour change and the restoration and maintenance of human dignity. The church should consistently condemn the sin of stigmatization and discrimination. It should revise its education in this area and develop an ecclesiology that would effectively respond to the HIV/Aids epidemic in a just, loving and gender inclusive manner.

Affiliations: 1: Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya; International Association for Mission Studies (IAMS); Africa Region Coordinator, Theology Commission, Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians (EATWOT)


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