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Empowered women will help break cycle of poverty, disease, reduce HIV burden in Nigeria, says NACA

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Sani Aliyu


Ahead of the 2018 International Women’s Day, today March 8, the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) has called on all stakeholders to rededicate and reposition themselves towards improving the quality of life for women- mothers, sisters and daughters.

Director General of NACA, Dr. Sani Aliyu, in a statement, yesterday, signed by the Head, Public Relations and Protocol, NACA, Mrs. Toyin Aderibigbe, said: “Let us build on past achievements and experiences to eliminate gender inequality, tackle girl child abuse and violence and ensure that our women are not left behind in our quest for a Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV)-free generation.

The day celebrates our resilient women in Nigeria, Africa and all around the World.” Aliyu added: ‘’Women must be empowered to transform their perceived social disadvantage to opportunities if we must break the cycle of poverty, disease and particularly reduce the HIV burden in Nigeria.’’

For the last 100 years, the 8th of March is set aside annually to commemorate the International Women’s Day. Organizations, governments, charities, educational institutions, women’s groups, corporations and the media organize events globally to mark this day and commit to upholding achievements on gender equality and women empowerment.

The theme for the 2018 International Women’s Day (IWD) is “Time is Now: Rural and Urban Activists Transforming Women’s Lives.” This year’s International Women’s Day comes on the heels of unprecedented global advocacy for women’s rights, equality and justice. Poverty, sexual harassment, violence and discrimination against women continue to engage public discourse, propelled by a rising determination for change. These factors are also well-recognised drivers of the HIV epidemic in our young women.

This year’s theme provides 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 women’s rights and realize their full potential. This strategy is equally important in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of leaving no one behind.

Evidence exists that gender-related interventions are potent tools for breaking the inter-generational cycle of poverty, particularly for disadvantaged women and girl children. Enabling economic empowerment and providing sustainable livelihoods for this population will reduce the rate of new HIV infections and bring us closer to achieving HIV epidemic control by 2030.


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NACASani Aliyu
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