HIV/STI section wins award

The SPC Gender Award for 2009 has been won by the HIV and STI section of the Public Health Division for its gender inclusive approach in strengthening the Pacific response to HIV at regional and national levels.

Presented at the 39th meeting of the Committee of the Representatives of Governments and Administrations (CRGA) of SPC in Nuku’alofa, the award recognises the critical importance of addressing gender issues and concerns in development, both in the corporate management of regional organisations such as SPC and in the delivery of technical assistance and programmes.

The award is presented to one of SPC’s technical divisions or to its corporate services or executive team every two years. It is in line with the gender policy of the Council of Regional Organisations of the Pacific (CROP) and demonstrates SPC’s commitment to fulfilling the policy’s requirements.

Presenting the award, Director of Corporate Services Leslie Walker, pictured left, said SPC was committed to gender equality. The award provides an opportunity to recognize those who had mainstreamed gender into their programmes, he said.


The Gender Award places priority on ensuring SPC’s corporate management and programmes follow gender fair policies and practice in the design and delivery of corporate policy and practice, strategic programme plans, project activities at regional level and in member countries, training and capacity building activities, evaluation and review processes, media, information and communication, special promotional or representational events.


Director of Social Resources Bill Parr, right, and the head of the Public Health Division Dr Thierry Jubeau, left, accepted the award in Nukualofa on behalf of the HIV/STI section.
Dr Jubeau congratulated the HVI/STI team under the leadership of Dennie Iniakwala.

In 2008 and 2009, SPC’s HIV & STI (sexually transmitted infections) section made significant efforts to integrate gender into its activities by directly addressing gender and human rights issues through awareness raising, training and providing resources and materials on the links between gender, human rights and HIV and STIs in regional and subregional consultations on PRSIP II (Pacific Regional Strategy on HIV Implementation Plan).


Examples include:

  • the roll out of the Stepping Stones programme, which addresses gender roles and the links to HIV and STIs;
  • recognising the need to address gender in both the application process and initial award of grants from the Pacific HIV & STI Response Fund;
  • providing outstanding support for the 2008 Festival of Pacific Arts (American Samoa) and 2009 Pacific Youth Festival (Fiji) by launching effective Safe Festival campaigns;
  • making a strong contribution to the 2008 and 2009 International Women’s Day events held at SPC;
  • addressing the high prevalence of STIs, especially Chlamydia, among women receiving antenatal services through providing technical support for testing and treatment in a number of countries;
  • providing support for gender disaggregation of data in surveys and analyses.


For the first time the section focused on integrating gender into its programme from planning to implementation at regional and national level.


For example, there was integration of a gender perspective into subregional planning for regional and national programmes on HIV and STIs involving countries and regional organisations, from assessment to the development of implementation plans.


Community activities using the Stepping Stones approach allowed women and men to talk freely about sensitive issues and ways of protecting themselves from contracting HIV and STIs.