From June to August 2019, Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR) collaborated with four local organizations in Papua Province to study the links between violence against women (VAW) and women living with HIV/AIDS. The study was conducted with Yasanto, eL_AdPPer, Katane Support Group, and Jayapura Support Group.
The study found that women in Papua are vulnerable to HIV/AIDS and violence in three ways: (1) they are vulnerable because they are women; (2) they experience stigma and discrimination as persons living with HIV/AIDS; and (3) Indigenous and indigent women in particular face increased vulnerability when displaced from their land and culture by rapid development and protracted conflict. When women become HIV positive their burdens intensify.
Our findings also revealed underlying patterns that impact women’s experience of HIV and violence, namely: (1) impunity that leads to acceptance and recurrence of violence; (2) vulnerability that extends to the next generation; (3) and a vicious cycle of gender-blind policies.
This photobook thus raises the voice of the women and helps us to understand their struggle.