The National Network of Positive Women Ethiopians was established in 2005. It is a non-profit, non-political, and secular organization. This association was then re-organized as National Network of Positive Women in Ethiopia (NNPWE) in 2007 and re-registered in 2013 and 2016 respectively. It is a specialized Network of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) Associations along the line of gender, identifying positive women as its main targets and establishing Positive Women Associations across the country. Currently, the Network has 31 member associations in nine regions and two city administrations.
The overarching goal of the Network is ‘to make a genuine contribution to mitigate the multifaceted effects of HIV/AIDS through greater and meaningful involvement of women living with HIV/AIDS and their Associations’. NNPWE’s primary targets are women living with HIV/AIDS and their associations. The secondary targets include orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs) and members of positive women, home care providers and counselors and the community at large. With these groups in mind, the Network has set two interlinked and broader objectives to pursue: increase the contribution of PLWHA Associations to the National and Regional efforts of HIV/AIDS prevention/control, care, treatment and support of the infected and affected; and build the capacity of positive women and their associations to deal with the impacts of HIV/AIDS and access to different services.
Since its establishment, NNPWE has played central role voicing the needs and concerns of HIV positive women, orphans and vulnerable young women. It actively participated in Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM), gender and HIV technical working group, the HIV/AIDS and the HIV NGO Forum at national levels and promoted the rights of its members at sub-national levels.
NNPWE has also carried out special public awareness raising and policy advocacy events on World AIDS Days and International Women’s Day, public debates and panel discussions. Over the years, NNPWE has provided capacity building support to the associations in a range of areas including advocacy and leadership, monitoring and evaluation and program areas such as vocational and business skills training to improve the lives of PLHIV.
Over the last 14 years, the Network has established collaborative activities with national and international organizations. Notwithstanding the contributions made by NNPWE in improving the quality of life through its support for Health and Care Treatment (HCT), ART, and Preventing the Transmission of Mother to Child Care and Treatment (PMTCT) programs; improving the socioeconomic status of its members including through innovative income generating activities (IGA) projects.