As part of activities marking this year’s Women Day celebration, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), said it will honour women and girls, while calling on leaders to ensure a more equitable and prosperous world.
AHF, which is the largest global AIDS organization operating in 43 countries, is also a global campaign that promotes and commemorates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
“Recognized annually on March 8, advocacy surrounding IWD strives to unite governments, organizations and businesses to foster change for gender equality.
For Dr. Echey Ijezie, AHF-Nigeria Country Program Director, said that ‘‘women, who account for almost half of Nigeria’s estimated population of about 200 million, are generally lagging behind in all aspects of life and, for them, #BalanceForBetter! would be a promise worth keeping.
“In Nigeria, as in many other countries of the world, there is a strong social, religious, economic and political bias that subjugates women. Gender inequality has thus elevated a culture of male supremacy which drives violence that women and girls have to cope with.
“It has ensured that girls and women have limited access to education, ownership of land and of assets. In many homes, women are unable to negotiate safe sex and hardly can they take decisions bothering on their sexual and reproductive health, which predisposes them to HIV infection and which has seen them bear the greater burden of the disease.
AHF Senior Director of Global Advocacy and Policy Loretta Wong, believe that “the world is at a critical point in its battle with HIV/AIDS, and regrettably, women take the brunt of the epidemic, particularly in developing countries.
“There are almost 19 million women and girls living with HIV worldwide, with 870,000 becoming newly infected every year. Government and community leaders can keep the promise to women by guaranteeing they have equal and unfettered access to the healthcare services they need. We must move from rhetoric to action—if the world is serious about gender equality and building women leaders, we must first keep them alive!
“On this International Women’s Day, AHF calls on world leaders at all levels to do everything in their power to create a more equitable world—one that ensures women and girls are safe, secure and have unimpeded access to lifesaving HIV testing, prevention and treatment services.
‘‘In commemorating the 2019 IWD, AHF Nigeria is honouring the exceptional courage and resilience of the Nigerian woman who despite all odds, continue to make a mark, breaking the yoke of economic dependency through entrepreneurship’’, said Echey Ijezie.
The Advocacy and Marketing Manager in Nigeria, Steve Aborisade, explained that the organisation is hosting an exhibition to honour the courage of everyday ordinary women who through their and skills and crafts, keep their families out of poverty and are giving their children a worthy future to hold unto, aside the fact that they inspire other women.
Exhibition shall hold on March 14, 2019 in Abuja, and will involve select women from across the suburb of Abuja who shall be displaying their wares and showcasing exceptional courage.