Theory of Change

PWN-USA Theory of Change

Positive Women’s Network – United States of America (PWN-USA) is a national membership body of women living with HIV inclusive of all sexual and gender expressions.  We work to achieve HIV-related policies and programs grounded in gender equity and human rights.  To be considered for a formal leadership role* in PWN-USA, you must read and sign the following statement.  The following grounds our work.

Part I. Who We Are:

  • Self-Identity
    • Positive Women’s Network – United States of America (PWN-USA) is a national membership body of women living with HIV inclusive of all sexual and gender expressions.

Part II. How We See the World:

  • Root Cause Analysis
    • We  believe that the HIV epidemic and its disproportionate impact on some communities are symptoms of larger social injustices – including but not limited to racism, classism, sexism, homophobia, and stigmatizing attitudes towards communities vulnerable to acquiring HIV.
  • Human Rights
    • We believe that the full human rights and dignity of people living with HIV, all women, people of color, low-income people, sex workers, LGBTQ persons, differently abled people, and drug users must be upheld to prevent HIV infection and to ensure a high quality of life for those living with HIV.
  • Changing the Balance of Power
    • We recognize that creating sustainable long-term solutions requires changing who’s in power and how power is held.  We value decision-making processes that seek consensus and that prioritize those most impacted by the decision.
  • Creating Equity
    • We recognize and seek to address barriers faced by women living with HIV in all aspects of their lives in the areas of educational, economic and employment opportunities, access to healthcare, sexual and reproductive rights, stigma, violence and family responsibilities, among others.

Part III. How We Do Our Work:

  • Herstory
    • We value learning from the past. We honor the women and men who have walked this path before, including those who are with us and those who are not.
  • Mentorship
    • We honor the expertise of our peers within and outside our network. We value fostering a supportive environment to learn.  We also value sharing knowledge and teaching others.
  • Meaningful Involvement
    • We value the leadership, participation, input, and perspective of all women living with HIV at every level of organizational and political leadership – including women at all places on the HIV disclosure spectrum and women at varying levels of literacy and technological access. We recognize that in order to achieve this goal, ongoing training, support and mentorship are necessary.
  • Leadership Development
    • We value developing ourselves as more effective leaders, identifying and supporting new leaders, and creating space for emerging leaders.
  • Accountability
    • We value holding each other to a high standard of commitment, follow-through and transparency. We value taking input from members and seek to consult with them when making decisions.
  • Sustainability
    • We value sustainable solutions to problems and working in a way that is sustainable.  We value paying and otherwise compensating women living with HIV for their time. We also value work-life balance and creating work and volunteer environments for women living with HIV that honor our whole beings.
  • Allies
    • We value the knowledge, perspective and wisdom of people of any gender and any HIV status who support our values, mission and goals.

* Formal leadership roles include Board member, regional group leader(s), media contact, and/or Staff member.

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