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IWD: Women living with HIV/AIDS cry over discrimination

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UNICEF report shows HIV/AIDS is prevalent aong teens

The Association of Women Living with HIV/AIDS and APIN Health Initiatives have both expressed concern over alleged discrimination against women living with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency  Syndrome in Nigeria.

The ASHWAN underlined that discrimination against HIV/AIDS victims was a serious issue that stakeholders needed to address.

However, the body emphasized the importance of further promoting gender equality for the country’s prosperity.

Mrs. Catherine Agboola, the group’s coordinator, made the demand while addressing the 2024 International Women’s Day observance on Friday in Akure, the capital of Ondo State.

Every year on March 8, the World commemorate the International Women’s Day. The United Nations’s official theme on this day is ‘Invest in women: Accelerate progress.’

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Agboola said, “The objective of this day is to advocate for increased investment and accelerate progress for women and girls in all their diversity through a society free from stigmatization and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS.

“It is a very serious issue, and it is one that we all need to work together to address.”

Advocating for more sensitization on gender equality in society, the ASHWAN Coordinator explained that gender equality is not only a fundamental human right but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous, and a sustainable world.

“Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous, and a sustainable world.

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“There has been progress over the last decades as more girls are going to school, more women are serving in parliament and positions of leadership, and laws are being reformed to advance gender equality. Despite these gains, gaps remain across all regions, and now is the time to stand up for gender equality,” Agboola advocated.

Dr. Folake Adurogbola, the Ondo State Head of APIN Health Initiatives, stated that the United Nations has picked for 2024 the topic ‘Invest in women: accelerate progress’ with a focus on addressing economic disempowerment, while the campaign theme for this year is ‘Inspire Inclusion.’

Raising concerns over the prevailing harsh economy, Adurogbola declared that women must engage themselves in positive ventures such as business, skill acquisition, and meaningful ideas that will propel them to higher ground.”

She said, “Our women can’t afford to be lazy at this time because we know the economic situation in Nigeria is biting hard, so this is not the time for women to sit down and expect the man to take 100% responsibility.

“They should also do something. Even if it involves selling pure water, and hawking it. They must be seen to contribute to the family, and it will ease the burden on the home and the man who is the sole provider for the home.

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“You can’t afford to be a housewife at this time; even if your husband says he doesn’t want you to work, try to do something while at home.

“There are lots of stay-at-home jobs now on the internet. Take advantage of technology and social media to sell your products and support your homes. This is not a time for excuses.”

Furthermore, Dr. Adurogbola emphasized that investing in the health and well-being of women and girls necessitates a sufficient investment in health overall.

Adijat Suraju, a representative of the PIND Public Health Initiatives, also spoke at the event and urged more women to participate in all aspects of life to help narrow society’s massive gender inequality.

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Suraju said, “Let’s celebrate women in government, technology, and digital settings, to mention a few, and let’s give room for more participation of women in all works of life to help close the huge gender disparity.

“Gender equality enables and accelerates women’s equality and empowerment and can define how women’s involvement, participation, leadership, and collective actions can make a difference for women, their children, and the entire universe, as women are generally multipliers.

“In addition, this action calls to drive progress towards gender equality, equity, and empowerment through the power of collective action by the women, for the women, and with the women, all across the globe.”.

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