Young Women Should be Empowered to Make Better Health Choices – UNAIDS


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The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS has called for the end to gender inequalities and the protection of the human rights of young women and girls everywhere.

In a statement, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé said “Ending the AIDS epidemic is dependent on social justice, which demands equity in education, employment and health for both girls and boys.

“The newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals provide us with our greatest opportunity yet to do things differently for this generation. We must make the conscious decision to empower young women and girls to take control of their own health choices.”

UNAIDS estimated that around 120 million girls worldwide have experienced rape or other forced sexual acts at some point in their lives, while 41 000 girls are married before they reach the age of 18.

Complications linked to pregnancy and childbirth have also been identified as the second leading cause of death among adolescent girls aged 15–19.

UNAIDS urged the federal government to integrate age-appropriate sexual and reproductive health services and the expansion of programmes to address gender-based violence.

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