questions that were asked in Germany (about the Holocaust)
a generation later, "How could you let that happen?"
will be asked of us."
- Bono, lead singer U2
I want to
welcome you to the INTERSECT website. INTERSECT was founded in
2002 as a new organizing principle through which HIV/AIDS and Violence Against Women and Girls could be powerfully and uniquely addressed and through which other urgent and critical social ills can be faced.
INTERSECT grew from three primary beliefs: 1) Violence Against Women is a pivotal, yet widely overlooked piece of the transmission cycle of HIV/AIDS. 2) The Womens’ Movement in collaboration with other sectors unique to a particular geographical area, is well suited to take on the task of making the world a safer place for women and girls through raising awareness and their voices to impact their own lives. 3) New methods and approaches are required to bring together organizations and individual men and women working in HIV/AIDS, the Women’s movement, and Important relathomeed fields such as Rights of the Child, Substance Abuse, Water, Human Rights, Sex Trafficking, Reproductive Health, Food, Sex Work, Education, Economic and Political Empowerment, etc. The brilliant work being done in these areas provide the perfect base from which to organize in order to meet the urgency and challenge of these pandemics.
INTERSECT was originally designed to explore the relationship between HIV/AIDS and Violence Against Women and Girls (VAW&G) and then to create Intersect Coalitions to confront these co-epidemics in unique collaborations that build on the brilliant work already being done in these areas and provide the perfect base from which to organize in order to meet the urgency and challenge of the current situation.
The intersection of HIV and VAW turned out to be painfully clear, both in my country, the United States, and around the
world. Women and Girls from every walk of life, of every culture,
ethnicity, race, education, and background share a common vulnerability
to violence, one that also renders us vulnerable to HIV infection.
I am committed to bringing these two areas of concern together
not just because my work over the last two decades has been in
both fields, but also because those dear to me have suffered from
both violence and AIDS. INTERSECT is committed to facing these
co-pandemics with ingenuity, creativity and integrity, building
upon the already powerful work being done to arrest the progress
of both HIV/AIDS and Violence.
In order to do so INTERSECT has become a catalyst for innovating
daring approaches to changing the social fabric of the societies
where HIV, Violence Against Women and Girls and other social ills
are epidemic. INTERSECT provides the mechanism for vast, diverse,
multidisciplinary highly visible Intersect Coalitions involving
existing coalitions, network, agencies and individuals working
in HIV, Violence and related fields across a variety of nations.
As a unified force, these Coalitions can accomplish their common
goals and face their common concerns with a fraction of the human
and financial resources members would expend on their own. Intersect
Coalitions are only limited by the imaginations of the Task Forces,
which are the custodians of their progress.
We began in South Africa with model Intersect Coalitions in three provinces: the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal and the Western Cape. Each of these Coalitions, like the remaining provinces that have since come on board, bears the unique flavor of the cultures, concerns, and goals of the people they serve. Each is an inspiration and a powerful model for Intersect Coalitions to come. There are also Intersect Coalitions, in various stages of development, in India in the states of Maharashtra, Rajasthan and West Bengal. There are also active Coalitions up and running in Cairo and Nairobi. Please explore the site to find out about INTERSECT, the Intersect Coalitions, and how to get involved.
All my best wishes,