By Aderogba George
An NGO, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), on Monday, advocated more equitable and inclusive future for women to attain their potentials and contribute meaningfully to society.
The foundation made the call in a statement in Abuja by its Advocacy and Marketing Manager, AHF Nigeria, Mr Steve Aborisade, ahead of the 2022 International Women’s Day (IWD) celebration.
Aborisade quoted the Country Programme Director, AHF Nigeria, Dr Echey Ijezie, as saying that the “IWD is an avenue to celebrate women who have made impact to ‘Break the Bias’ of issues holding them back from reaching their full potentials.
“The avenue to work with women on our programme and in extension, women generally is one we usually embrace because of the significant contributions of women to the successes we are recording.
“The foundation ensures we prioritise women and especially indigent clients by providing palliatives to bridge the impact of COVID-19 on their wellbeing.’’
On IWD celebration in Nigeria, Ijezie said the foundation would be working with exceptional mentor mothers in Kogi, to accelerate progress in paediatric HIV diagnoses and treatment.
“This is in recognition of the stop gap role that mentor mothers and indeed expert clients play in bridging the unmet need for children and adolescent antiretroviral therapy.
`Women from across our programme sites in Kogi would be celebrated for their exceptional courage in the face of stigma and discrimination and for their unwavering commitment and tenacity in the midst of several challenges.
“Our hope is to tackle identified barriers to pediatric testing and treatment while scaling up the effort of these women as they break the bias and ensure an HIV free world for women and their children,’’ Ijezie added.
Also, Terri Ford, Chief of Global Advocacy and Policy AH, said the foundation must work more than ever to ensure women have all they needed to succeed.
“Now, more than ever, we must work to ‘Break the Bias’, to ensure women have all they need to succeed, including equal access to health care, education, and employment.’’
He noted that while the effects of COVID-19 may have subsided in several wealthy countries, the pandemic was still creating hardships disproportionately for women, particularly in developing countries.
According to Ford, the foundation will be celebrating and highlighting the achievements of strong and successful women globally.
“In addition to live and virtual IWD 2022 events in many of AHF’s countries of operation, we will also conduct a social media campaign featuring successful women from all our global bureaus.
“These inspiring stories of their personal journeys epitomise how they have worked to “Break the Bias,” overcome obstacles while empowering others along the way.
“Also how their perseverance and bravery led to breaking harmful practices, bringing about positive change in their communities and in the lives of their friends and families.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that IWD, is celebrated annually on March 8, to commemorate the cultural, political and socioeconomic achievements of women.
The 2022 IWD, theme: “Break the Bias” is aimed at shedding the suffocating stereotypes, stigmas and discrimination that has kept women and girls worldwide from succeeding and realizing their true potential.
NAN also reports that AHF is the largest global AIDS organization, that currently provides medical care and services to over 1.6 million clients in 45 countries worldwide, including Nigeria. (NAN)
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By Aderogba George