MTV Staying Alive created this video for International Women’s Day to spread the message of women standing up and exercising their agency. By choosing to stand up and speak out – despite the hardships, the difficulties and the trials – women can rise. Created using clips of our MTV Shuga content, this powerful poem was written by Khadija Yusra Sanusi.
International Women’s Day is dedicated to celebrating women’s achievements in the social, economic, cultural, and political spheres. And it’s a day vital to highlighting the threat gender inequality poses on women’s health globally.
“The HIV epidemic holds a mirror up to the inequalities and injustices faced by women and girls and how the gaps in rights and services are exacerbating the epidemic,” said Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of UNAIDS.
The standards and expectations to which men and women generally conform impact health across life stages, health sectors and world regions. These norms influence everything from expected behaviour to the health conditions women are more susceptible to including access to and uptake of health services and care.
Women are disproportionately impacted by health issues, violence, gaps in education, as well as lack of economic empowerment and protection of sexual and reproductive health and rights due to gender discrimination.
HIV disproportionately affects women and adolescent girls because of their unequal cultural, social and economic status in society.
Forty years into the HIV epidemic, AIDS remains the leading cause of death of women of reproductive age
This means that gender inequality must be tackled in order to end the global HIV epidemic, and achieve other, broader development outcomes.
– Women and young girls continue to be disproportionally affected by HIV around the world, but particularly in sub-Saharan Africa
– Financial disparities and intimate partner violence in relationships often hinder a woman’s ability to negotiate condom use and protect herself from HIV.
– Gender inequality in education and restricted social autonomy among women is directly linked to lower access to sexual health services, including HIV testing and treatment.
– Although commitments to reduce the effects of gender inequality have been made by the international community, there is a need to significantly scale up efforts as social injustices and violence against women continue to persist across the globe.
As we observe International Women’s Day this year we remember that 2020 is set to be a year of milestones for women, gender equity, and health. 5 years into the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 10 years since the establishment of UN Women, 20 years since the landmark UN Security Council Resolution on Women, Peace and Security, and 25 years since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, 2020 is an important year for reflection, commitment, and action.