AIDS foundation urges stakeholders to step up efforts towards advancing girls’ rights


AIDS foundation urges stakeholders to step up efforts towards advancing girls’ rights

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), a Non-Governmental Organisation, has called on stakeholders to create opportunities for growth and development that advance the rights of the girl-child.

Mr Steve Aborisade, Advocacy and Marketing Manager, AHF Nigeria, in Abuja, stated this in a statement ahead of the 2021 International Day of the Girl Child (IDGC) on Monday.

IDGC is commemorated annually on Oct.11, to celebrate the importance, power, and potentials of adolescent girls around the world, as set aside by United Nations.

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AHF theme: “Amplify her voice: fight to keep girls healthy, help girls succeed’, intends to eliminate gender-based challenges, including violence, discrimination, child marriage, poor learning environment, among others.

According to the AHF, no fewer than 47 million girls globally were pushed into poverty by the COVID-19 pandemic, “reaffirming the need for stakeholders to provide essential keys for the successful development of the girl-child by ensuring they stay in school, live healthy and productive lives.

“The AHF 2021 IDGC celebration would be hosted by the foundation in collaboration, with other stakeholders, where girls from various schools within the FCT and out-of-school children would also participate.

“The commemoration would provide a platform for young girls to express themselves freely on issues paramount to them, thereby `amplifying her voice’,’’ he stated.

Dr Echey Ijezie, the Country Director, AHF-Nigeria, said that AHF- Nigeria Girls Act programme launched in 2016, particularly prioritised young women and girls by empowering them and providing a safe environment for them to achieve their goals.

He said such programmes included; distribution of free sanitary pads, avoiding unplanned pregnancies, menstrual hygiene practices and ensuring persons that are HIV positive remain on treatment.

“AHF-Nigeria, will also impact young girls with special needs, in collaboration with the School for the Deaf, Kuje.

“The Foundation will host menstrual hygiene sessions at the school, which will be a menstrual hygiene academy, were graduating students, fully equipped with health tips, are able to cater for their health’’, he added.

Also speaking, Terri Ford, the Chief, Global Advocacy and Policy AHF, said that young women and girls had been a global priority for the foundation for many years.

Ford stressed that the effect of the pandemic had shown the importance more than ever before, of the need to ensure girls are supported, protected with equal opportunities to achieve their goals.

“Together, we can all ‘Amplify her voice’ and make sure girls everywhere are empowered to be their best by staying safe, staying in school, and having confidence to take charge of their lives and health,’’ she added.

AHF is the largest global AIDS organization, currently providing medical care services to more than 1.4 million clients in 45 countries, including Nigeria.

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