Sunday, March 7, 2021 5:05 pm
*With theme of “achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world!”
On International Women’s Day (IWD), AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization operating in 45 countries, will utilize a social media campaign to highlight its women leaders. They will be from its four global bureaus and will share their experiences, including words of inspiration and the obstacles they have overcome to propel themselves to where they are today – and particularly during the pandemic.
On Monday, March 8 and Tuesday March 9, 2021, AHF Nigeria shall be engaging with these cadre of women leaders in appreciation of their roles as we use the oportunity to impact new skills to tackle barriers to ANC uptake among young women and girls in rural areas with strict observance of the Covid-19 protocols.
As always, AHF will be pairing its social media initiative with in-person IWD events in select locations which will combine commemoration with advocacy actions that seek to inspire change for gender equality. And be sure to be on the look out for IWD actions that will also be incorporating AHF’s signature Girls Act program events! Girls Act is a girl-led initiative that fosters leadership and confidence for girls and young women to support each other, strengthen fundamental life skills and develop community activism.
“We are proud to have exceptional women and women leaders throughout the entire AHF family—and we’re thrilled to be able to introduce a handful of them to the world this International Women’s Day!” said AHF Chief of Global Advocacy and Policy Terri Ford. “It’s been quite a rollercoaster ride over the last year for people everywhere, but like many aspects of our world, women are often disproportionately affected by crises, whether it’s COVID-19 or HIV. We could not have maintained our operating capacity and continued caring for our more than 1.5 million clients globally if it were not for our extraordinary women in leadership positions at all levels.”
In addition to showcasing “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world,” AHF urges leaders at all levels of government, community and business on this International Women’s Day to “Keep the Promise” by striving for gender equality and doing what’s necesary to create a world that keeps women and girls safe and secure—including ensuring unrestricted access to lifesaving HIV testing, prevention and treatment services.
In Nigeria, AHF Nigeria will be addressing a central issue affecting women – eliminating mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS – in partnership with rural community women leaders we called ‘mentor mothers’. These women have been in the forefront of ensuring a halt to the spate of mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS. Poor uptake of antenatal care (ANC) services among young women and girls in rural areas has been identified as a key factor fuelling the incresing rate of mother to child transmission of HIV.
‘‘One of the ways to boost uptake of ANC services is to create more awareness and education among rural populace through community influencers and champions in structured campaigns and education’’ said Dr. Echey Ijezie, AHF Nigeria Country Program Director. ‘‘While the International Women’s Day affords us the opportunity to celebrate the women leading this process with exceptional leadership.”