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Dear sisters, allies, friends and partners,
 
In 2019, together we (ATHENA Network core team members, collaborators, members, allies and partners)  worked towards important feminist wins in the HIV response; collectively advocated for systemic change for a gendered and gender trans-formative HIV response; and committed ourselves to bring forward as well as create space for the lived realities, expertise and voices of those who are all too frequently most left behind in the response.
 
Thank you to everyone who has been and continues to be a part of building community with us, especially in these times of seismic change across the globe, within our HIV and women’s movements.
In 2019, we made magic together, held space for each other, and boldly dismantled the patriarchy, addressed inequalities and collectively called for a feminist HIV response!
  • For the first time, UNAIDS is being led by an African woman,  prolific  and visionary leader, who boldly self identifies as a feminist.  Her first meeting outside of the institution was with adolescent girls and young women from across Eastern and Southern Africa  and globally in a meeting co-convened on the eve of the ICPD +25 Nairobi Summit by UNAIDS & ATHENA Network. Winnie has articulated her bold feminist vision for change to address power imbalances, unequal gender relations and discrimination.
  • ***N.B, currently, both Deputy Executive Directors  at UNAIDS are women
  • We have a young woman (Ms. Lucy Wanjiku Njenga), the team leader at Young Positive Women Voices and ATHENA #WhatGirlsWant Focal point for Kenya, as one of the African delegates to the UNAIDS, NGO Programme Coordinating Board (PCB). 
For us at ATHENA, 2019 was a profound year that we shall cherish.
  • For the first time,  since ATHENA  founded in 2005 and launched in 2006, we have core funding from the Robert Carr Fund for Civil Society Networks. This has provided an opportunity to prioritize organizational strengthening, invest in feminist leadership, and intentionally resource a strong core team that truly responds to the demands of our Network and  better fulfill our mandate as we seek to scale up our impact & define our added value at a critical moment in the history of our work. Also, we received funding from Global Fund for Women to work with young women and their use of technology in Kenya to achieve their sexual and reproductive health and rights.
  • For the first time, ATHENA core team members spent time together in a retreat to nourish our vision, collectively create our feminist futures, and make tangible plans that; foster feminist learning, are accountable to our network and  guided by our Network’s principles 
  • Our core team and collaborators, influenced agendas & advanced accountability in various  policy and research spaces; such as the Commission on the Status of Women, HIV research workshops on women and adolescence, Women Deliver, ECHO Trial, Nairobi Summit, Global Prevention Coalition, High Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage, Start Free Stay Free Working Group, Interagency Working Group on HIV and SRHR, the UNAIDS Board and various national actions
  • We held space, championed and sustained dialogue on eliminating sexual harassment, abuse of power, and bullying with a specific focus on the safety of young women. 
  • We influenced the HIV research agenda, to ensure accountability to adolescent girls and young women in their diversity.  
  • We intensified the visibility of our feminist agenda and amplified the voices of adolescent girls and young women. We were featured in the mainstream media in Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Botswana in Kenya as panelists, expert speakers  on radio and TV shows and on print media because of our phenomenal advocacy
  • We grew and sustained our digital community, centered around the experiences, lived realities, guided by the expertise of adolescent girls & young women along our partners and allies. With our #WhatGirlsWant & #WhatWomenWant hashtags we;
***Gained over 1000 followers across all our social media channels
*** Directly reached 3.5Million online
*** had a digital footprint of 9.5million impressions
 
******In 2019, we renewed our commitment to fight back, tightened our strategies and guarded our movement as the ATHENA Network. 2019, called upon us who are truly committed to realizing women’s rights to be bold and not settle for less at a time when our hard fought for  gains face imminent risk! Catherine Nyambura, Advocacy & Communications Lead, 

*******In 2019 we saw unprecedented attacks on women's rights, domestically(USA) and globally. I look forward to 2020 as a historic year for women, one that will see ATHENA fully step into her mandate to amplify the voices and priorities of women and young women everywhere, Alex Murphy, Operations Lead

 
In 2020, we look forward to continue creating spaces for thought leadership on gender equality, HIV, and human rights, hold leaders and funders accountable and amplify the voices and leadership of adolescent girls and young women in policy and decision making spaces. We are convinced that feminist power holds power to the change the world needs!

Here is "To gender equity and human rights for all in 2020"

With Love, from the ATHENA Team,


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