UN: African First Ladies partner on sexual, reproductive health for young girls

New York, US (PANA) - The Organization of African First Ladies against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA) is partnering with UN agencies, private sector, civil society and multilateral organizations on ways to improve access to sexual and reproductive health services and rights for young women and adolescent girls.

PANA in New York reports that the high-level meeting was held late on Wednesday in New York on the margins of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly.

The first ladies from some 20 African countries took part in the meeting, during which participants reiterated their support for the 2016 UN Political Declaration on Ending AIDS.

The declaration included commitments to gender equality and reducing the disproportionate impact of the HIV epidemic among young women and adolescent girls.

The first ladies heard from 14-year-old Hawaya from Chad, who at the age of 10, was married and faced violence from her husband on a daily basis.

She later escaped and found support just as Chad declared a ban on child marriages.

The first ladies expressed their commitment to accelerate actions and programmes to address issues affecting adolescent girls and young girls in their respective countries.

The Vice-Chairman of the China–Africa Business Council, Zhang Huarong, announced a donation of US$100,000 for OAFLA and voiced ongoing support for the first ladies’ mission.    

In his remarks, the UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibe, stressed the significant role played by the first ladies both at the national level and internationally, reiterating their transformative powers and UNAIDS’ commitment to continue supporting their work.

"We need to bring together all these critical areas of work, from stopping violence and child marriages to comprehensive sexual education and access to quality health care.  

"This includes HIV and cervical cancer screening and all of these services need to be tailored to the needs of young girls," Sidibe said.
-0- PANA AA/MA 22Sept2016

22 september 2016 11:53:28




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