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Statement by Sima Bahous, UN Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, 25 November 2022
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In a statement, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka calls on governments to recognize both the enormity of the contribution women make and the precarity of so many in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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The contribution of women and girls, particularly those living with HIV, is indispensable in the HIV response at the community level. Women and girls provide critical care for family and community members living with HIV, and help ensure they start and stay on treatment.
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Every four minutes, three young women become infected with HIV (UNAIDS Right to Health report, 2017). They are clearly not enjoying their right to health, nor will they, until we are able to reverse the inequalities and discrimination that fuel HIV spread. Those whose health and future are currently least prioritized must become our focus, if we are to achieve the changes we seek.
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Today, on World AIDS Day, one day after the celebration of Barbados Independence Day, we are here to promote a certain kind of change and to further advocacy and action.
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Today on World AIDS Day, we are called to action to achieve zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths. On behalf of UN Women, I would like to stress that getting to zero requires zero discrimination against women and girls.
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One hundred years ago, when the world first commemorated International Women’s Day, gender equality and women’s empowerment were largely radical ideas.
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Speech delivered by Ms. Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, at the opening of the First Regular Session of the Executive Board of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), 24 January 2011.