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Call to fight discrimination against women


Call to fight discrimination against women

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UNITED NATIONS – Executive Director of UNAIDS Winnie Byanyima said fighting discrimination against women is key to beating AIDS in the Caribbean and other places.

“The struggle to beat AIDS is inseparable from the struggle for women’s rights and from the struggle against all forms of discrimination,” said Byanyima in a message marking Zero Discrimination Day on Sunday.

With the theme of this year’s Day being “the fight against discrimination faced by women and girls”, the UNAIDS executive director said the organisation aims to raise awareness, mobilise action, and promote equality.

UNAIDS said discrimination against women and girls occurs in many different forms across the world. These include laws that limit women’s sexual and reproductive rights, criminalise people for their gender identity or sexual orientation, or for transmitting HIV.

The Caribbean is second to sub-Saharan Africa in the prevalence of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

UNAIDS has outlined several societal changes that need to take place to end discrimination and help in the fight against AIDS.

These include ensuring equal participation of women in political life, uphold human rights for women, and guaranteeing them economic justice, which includes ending the ongoing gender pay gap.

“Violence against women must end, and laws that protect women form violence must be put in place and respected, with policies to support and protect survivors of violence,” UNAIDS said.

 “Health care must be available, without any stigma, discrimination or barriers, and care for women must respect their autonomy, with guaranteed sexual and reproductive health and rights,” it added.