Month: July 2016

Why Girl Empowerment Programs Should Move from Boardrooms to Communities

Why don’t many Ugandan girls go to school? Is it because they have no books or uniforms? Or they have to trek long distances? The answers to these questions might be affirmative. But that is not all. There is another, rarely talked about problem that can bring girls’ education, social status to a screeching halt: the simple lack of a sanitary towel when she has her period. Phionah Kizza has been working with AFRIpads, a social enterprise in Uganda that manufactures and sells washable cloth, sanitary pads, for two years now as a supervisor in the production facility. During the commemoration of World Population Day by Reach A Hand, Uganda in Kawempe, a slum in Kampala city, she had an opportunity to show adolescent girls and women who were at the event how to use these reusable pads. The event was commemorated in partnership with UNFPA under the theme Harnessing Uganda’s Demographic Dividend: Invest in Teenage Girls with the emphasis on bringing services and information to these young girls using the hashtag #LetGirlsBeGirls on social media. Ordinarily, …

HIV/AIDS Prevention Starts with Combating Gender Inequality

Written by: Hayley Trinh, Communications and Development Intern, Education for Equality International Since the first known case of HIV in India was diagnosed in 1986, the number of people infected with the virus has continued to grow. According the most recent UNAIDS Gap Report, India has the third-highest number of people living with HIV in the world, with 2.1 million Indians accounting for four of every 10 people infected in Asia. Rajasthan, where EEI’s girls’ education and empowerment efforts are currently focused, is considered a low prevalence state by National AIDS Control Organization (NACO), but the population is considered highly vulnerable because of its high percentage of migrant labor. People from Rajasthan migrate to high prevalence states like Maharashtra and Gujarat and return with the disease. Rajasthan also accounts for 19% of all mines in India, employing over 500,000 workers, many of them are from other states. The situation in the state has become critical due to increase of traffic on national highways, tourists, and laborers coming in search for jobs. Due to its large …

What We Need to Know About HIV & Adolescent Girls

The term ‘adolescent girls’ encompasses, in theory, all those aged 10-24. In reality, the lower section of that age bracket – the 10-19 year olds specifically – receive the least attention and are therefore the least comprehensively catered for when it comes to HIV/AIDS information and services. So what do we know? There is no country in the world where we don’t have adolescents living with HIV, and adolescent girls remain disproportionately affected. There are 990,000 girls between 10-19 years old living with HIV globally. For boys of the same age, that figure drops to 770, 000. Every hour, 26 adolescents are infected with HIV – two thirds of these are girls. Adolescent AIDS-related deaths are increasing. Very young adolescents are generally overlooked, since at this age they face a relatively low burden of disease. However, 10-14 is a critical life phase for shaping future health and development. And what don’t we know? There are HUGE differences between 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14 year old girls, but we don’t have data that represents those differences by being divided up into …

Youth Speak Out About HIV/AIDS!

Today, Girls’ Globe blogger, Eleanor met up with several young people at the 2016 International AIDS Conference. It’s the last full day of the conference and these inspiring young activists had a lot to say about the work they are accomplishing to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic in their countries. They also shared key takeaways they have learned from the conference and their goals going forward in their work. Watch this Inspiring Video:   Girls’ Globe is present at the 2016 International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa (17-22nd of July). Follow our team on social media @GirlsGlobe, @FHI360 & @JNJGlobalHealth and by using the hashtag #EndHIV4Her for inspiring blog posts, interviews and updates! To sign up for the daily In Focus Newsletter visit crowd360.org/aids2016/.

To #EndHIV4Her: Tackle Child Marriage

To say that child marriage and HIV among adolescents are linked feels a lot like stating the obvious. But I learned today, at Day 3 of the 2016 International AIDS Conference, there is very little formal knowledge to back that claim up. The overarching message from this morning’s discussion was a simple one; it is really difficult, if not totally impossible, to tackle HIV unless you tackle child marriage. On the one hand, girls and young women make up approximately two out of every 3 new HIV infections among people aged 10-24 years. On the other, 15 million girls per year are married before they turn 18. Two global problems of colossal scale with two sets of similar causes; gender inequality, poverty, rigid social norms, lack of education, inaccessible health information and services. And yet until recently, the relationship between the two has remained pretty much ignored. It was even suggested at one point that this session may well be a historic moment – recognition at last of their interwoven nature. Girls Not Brides, who hosted the panel, have created a fact …

Leveraging Social Media to Address the AIDS Epidemic

Yesterday, the Girls’ Globe team attended a session on how digital and social media champions are creating change around the world. The session covered practical ways that HIV/AIDS activists, thought leaders, people young and old can utilize social media to create more reach in their networks and work. Girls’ Globe blogger, Zanele Mabaso spoke with HIV/AIDS activist, Erica Woodland and Tommy Lobben, Manager of HIV and Digital Health Programs for Johnson & Johnson, after a #AIDS2016 session about the power of digital and social media to create change for those affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Zanele asks them what they learned in the session as well as how they are using social media in their work. Watch the Video:  

Inspiring #EndHIV4Her Videos!

T he 2016 International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa on Monday of this week. The first few days have been a whirlwind of excited for the Girls’ Globe team! This week, Eleanor (UK ) and Zanele (South Africa) are sitting down with thought leaders, young people and organizations to learn what we know, do not know and need to know in regards to addressing the issue of HIV/AIDS among women and girls. Below are three inspiring video interviews exploring the progress made for women and girls as well as personal conversations with HIV-Positive mothers and their teens. Let’s Talk About HIV/AIDS Progress for Women and Girls! Candid Conversations with HIV-Positive Mothers and their Teens How Are You Working to #EndHIV4Her?   Girls’ Globe is present at the 2016 International AIDS Conference in Durban, South Africa (17-22nd of July). Follow our team on social media @GirlsGlobe, @FHI360 & @JNJGlobalHealth and by using the hashtag #EndHIV4Her for inspiring blog posts, interviews and updates! To sign up for the daily In Focus Newsletter visit crowd360.org/aids2016/.

Showcasing South Africa’s Top 5 Innovative Mobile Health Technology Solutions

Investing in innovation and technology is essential to transforming communities and enhancing the manner in which day-to-day activities are conducted and managed. Innovation in the health sector is vital, to ensure there are new and revised ways of tackling social determinants to health challenges. South Africa’s National Department of Health and Johnson and Johnson, in support, hosted a satellite session showcasing “South Africa’s Use of Innovative Technologies to Support HIV+ Clients through diagnosis and Retention of Care” at the 21st International AIDS Conference. Below are South Africa’s Top 5 game-changing innovative mobile health technology solutions responding to people living with HIV, through diagnosis and retention of care: 1. MomConnect, launched in 2014, is currently the largest network of it’s kind implemented by a national government. It responds to the challenge of maternal mortality, new-born deaths and child health; with the primary aim of providing pregnant mothers with information about their reproductive health, pregnancy, and nutrition knowledge to ensure every child born lives and every unborn child and it’s mother live healthy lives. MomConnect, is an interactive …

Young People’s Leadership in Ending AIDS by 2030

54 young people from  17 different countries across Africa, hosted a Youth Satellite Session at the 21st International AIDS Conference on Youth Leadership in Achieving Universal Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights and Ending AIDS by 2030, hosted in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), South Africa’s National Department of Health and Johnson & Johnson. The youth satellite session was  creatively organised, featuring poetry, drama, music and a panel discussion where the young people shared perspectives on how living with and without HIV affects them individually and broadly within the communities they live in. They engaged in an intriguing  inter-generational dialogue with key decision makers, stressing the need for multilateral organizations and governments to collaborate with young people to deliver better programs and initiatives at local levels. This could help to achieve better results towards reducing new infections and ultimately ending HIV/AIDS amongst youth and adolescents aged 15-24 across the continent. Meaningful youth engagement was mentioned as a prerequisite in giving  young people the opportunity  to be part of leadership structures that are involved in the …