women and girls
Evidence reveals that women and girls--especially women and girls of color--are overrepresented in the commercial sex trade
"Girls and women of color are experts on their own lives -- our role is to listen to them."
While women's empowerment is crucial, girls' empowerment is also one of the most promising strategies we have to achieve sustainable development. Ensuring that girls are healthy, educated, and enabled to speak out for their own rights is key to creating a better world - for girls, their families, communities, and countries.
Indeed, women and girls make up more than half the world's population and are often more deeply impacted than men and boys by poverty, climate change, food insecurity, lack of healthcare and global economic crises.
An epidemic sweeping across southern and eastern Africa reminds me of a hard truth in public health: diseases thrive in places where there is inequity and lack of opportunity. That epidemic -- HIV among adolescent girls and young women -- is threatening to roll back many gains made in the fight against HIV in the past 15 years.
What lies ahead is even more exciting. The acknowledgment that investments in girls and women are not only important, but the bedrock for sustainable development and progress for all, has never been higher. There is an enormous momentum right now.
There is nothing wrong with having HIV. I tell people that I love myself and that I am not less because of HIV. And as an HIV advocate, I help other women living with HIV deal with the disease, and make sure they know that it is not the end of the world.
“The roots of patriarchy are so deep, that you cannot uproot them. So what do you have to do? Cut off its every branch.”