The women holding the banner as they walked through the streets of Accra
The United Nations AIDS Agency (UNAIDS), together with the Ghana AIDS Commission and other partners, embarked on a health walk last Saturday to draw the attention of the public on the need to continue efforts of empowering women to make the right health decisions.
The walk was aimed at raising awareness about women’s empowerment issues, including sexual and reproductive health issues (specifically HIV prevention, treatment and care) and economic empowerment.
The exercise, held in commemoration of the 20 th anniversary of the International Women’s Day celebration, started from the Osu Police Station in Accra, proceeded through the John Evans Atta-Mills High Street and ended at Mantse Agbona in James Town.
Participants of the health walk, mainly women, were drawn from communities considered to be in the informal sector and who are likely to be left behind in women’s empowerment events.
Young women from the University of Ghana, female ambassadors of state, female ministers and female UN agency heads, including the UN resident coordinator also participated in the walk.
UN Resident Coordinator, Christine Evans-Klock, speaking to participants at Mantse Agbona, said the country has made tremendous progress in reducing the HIV burden of the country.
However, she said there is much more to be done in scaling up the activities to reach many women and girls who are still facing discrimination and undergoing inhumane situations because of their gender.
‘There are still girls being forced into early marriages and undergoing several cultural practices that is detrimental to their health,’ she mentioned.
Ms Evans-Klock, therefore, stressed the need for men to help in supporting the call for women empowerment as without women there could not be total development.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri
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