Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) teams in multiple countries held diverse and educational International Women’s Day (IWD) events in March 2021 under the theme Women in Leadership: Achieving an Equal Future in a COVID-19 World! Advocates united to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women everywhere and brought awareness to the challenges women and girls continue to face worldwide.
In addition to in-person events, AHF launched a digital campaign that showcased its women leaders from AHF’s four global bureaus. They shared their experiences, including words of inspiration and resilience, which were particularly needed during the pandemic.
We invite you to explore the photos below to experience all our global IWD actions—and be sure to visit us on social media to learn more and share how you spent your IWD this year!
In addition to a symbolic march and touching candlelight vigil for missing girls, Girls Act members in Guatemala used IWD to officially launch AHF’s girl empowerment program in the country by reading a press release to local media on the importance of rights for sexual and reproductive health and HIV/STI prevention for women and girls.
Staff in Argentina focused on a community with high rates of teenage pregnancy and gender-based violence by organizing a workshop for 20 young girls. They reiterated the importance of girls taking control of their health and gaining access to sanitary pads, which are a necessity to ensuring girls in many parts of the world can stay in school during menstruation.
Half of humanity cannot be ignored! was the IWD theme in Haiti, where 100 advocates from Girls Act and partner organizations joined together for an exciting flash mob! Advocates used the event to promote powerful messages on the importance of access to education, equal human rights, and the right to live free from violence and discrimination.
Nearly 150 people attended two in-person IWD events in as many days in Cambodia, where community and girl leaders conveyed messages about remaining safe from COVID-19 and the importance of staying in school. Leaders from AHF Cambodia’s Girls Act chapter also held a virtual event that included a contest and outreach from women leaders.
Nine sites in Nepal hosted IWD events this year! Educational activities targeted youth from key affected populations, service providers, AHF staff and stakeholders, and dozens of HIV/AIDS advocates and volunteers. Girls Act members also participated in an AHF partner-led workshop that taught the girls basic computing and graphic design skills.
IWD actions in China attracted almost 300 people for promotional videos, interactive quizzes, and an informative workshop that advocated for equal rights and equal access to healthcare for women. Other areas of focus were fighting TB among women, mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and HIV rapid testing after the event.
Actions in Nigeria utilized mothers as mentors to target mother-to-child HIV transmission, a critical health challenge. These mothers, who double as “expert clients,” were selected to commemorate IWD and refresh their knowledge via interactive train-the-trainer sessions over two days that will, in turn, help them to support AHF clients in their communities.
Lesotho commemorated IWD this year by hosting a lecture on women’s achievements and discussed the challenges and solutions that helped them navigate their way through the COVID-19 pandemic.
AHF Uganda Cares utilized a mix of community radio stations, megaphones and health education talks with local vendors to get the word out to women about staying healthy. Staff also conducted dozens of screenings for cervical cancer and STIs and referred any women needing additional care to the local hospital.
AHF Zambia partnered with a local art gallery to host an inspirational exhibit that showcased women artists and their work, which presented women as equals and deserving of equal opportunities in the art industry. The event also offered HIV testing and reminded the public that women must have equal access to quality healthcare.