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Inter-linkages between culture, gender based violence, hiv/aids and women's rights: training manual.

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Harare, SAfAIDS, 2008
Changing the River's Flow Series

This training manual explores the theory that culture is central to the forces that trigger gender-based violence, leading to the violation of women's rights and subsequently to the spread of HIV. Since culturally, women are viewed as 'objects', Southern Africa has witnessed an increase in gender-based violence (GBV), and the violation of women's rights which have resulted in growing cases of HIV infection. Of concern, however, is that many people are ignorant of the link between these problems and culture. This training manual seeks to make development agents aware that there is not much that can be achieved in the response to HIV and AIDS if society does not deal with the root cause of the problem – CULTURE. This message must resonate within all the strategies responding to the epidemic at all levels: community, national and regional. In essence, the problems of gender-based violence and violation of women's rights must not be viewed in isolation – as causal factors in the spread of HIV – but as culture-based evils.