The National Agency for the Control of AIDS on Monday stated that more efforts needed to be put in place to reduce the gender inequality and violence that women and girls at risk of HIV face in the country.
The agency made this known in a statement it released ahead of the International Women’s Day.
The statement which was signed by the NACA Head of Media and Protocols, partly read, “This year’s International Women’s Day comes on the heels of an unprecedented global movement for women’s rights, equality and justice.
“Poverty, sexual harassment, violence and discrimination against women have captured headlines and public discourse, propelled by a rising determination for change.
“This theme for this year’s IWD will provide an opportunity to transform this momentum into action, to empower women in all settings, rural and urban, and celebrate the activists who are working relentlessly to claim gender equality for women to enable them realize their full potential. This strategy is equally important in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of leaving no one behind.
“Evidence exists that most gender-related interventions have focused on breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty, particularly for disadvantaged women and girl children, but have been weaker in promoting women’s economic empowerment through employment or sustainable livelihoods.
“Unfortunately, in most communities, resources are limited to support economic strengthening and livelihood interventions for indigent Persons Living with HIV particularly women, whose main role is still to be a wife, mother, and homemaker while the man is the main decision-maker and income-earner.
We understand that the vital link between gender, social equity and climate change, and recognize that without gender equality today, a sustainable future, an equal future, remains out of reach.
“The 2022 IWD celebration provides the National Agency for the Control of AIDS another opportunity to reposition for change and to build on the previous achievements, with focus on awareness creation on the impact of HIV on indigent persons living with HIV particularly women and girls, while calling for greater gender equality and equity. It also provides the Agency an avenue to further intensify efforts to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.”
The statement quoted the Director-General of NACA, Gambo Aliyu, as saying, ‘’Women must be empowered to transform their perceived weaknesses to opportunities if we must break the cycle of poverty, diseases and particularly reduce the HIV burden in Nigeria as much has been done to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV, but much more needs to be done to reduce the gender inequality and violence that women and girls at risk of HIV often face.”