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What women face

It’s Women’s Month. A time to remember the courage and activism of the Women’s March and to celebrate women’s contribution to our democracy. But it is equally important to reflect on the challenges South African women continue to face and what can be done to combat this. Vulnerability to HIV Women and girls carry the bulk of the HIV burden in South Africa. They are more at risk of infection and more likely to be caring for those affected. HIV incidence is highest in young women aged 15-24 at 2.3%, making up a quarter of all new infections. Adolescent girls…

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Backing the girl child

Today marks the International Day of the Girl Child, a United Nations-led initiative supporting the more than 1.1 billion girls worldwide. Girls have the potential to be a powerful force for shaping a sustainable world. The Day aims to highlight the fact too many girls around the world have their potential and dreams thwarted by violence, discrimination and inequality. Some of the major issues facing girls all over the world: One in 3 girls in developing countries (except China) are married before turning 18 Poor girls are 2.5 times more likely to marry in childhood than wealthy girls Child marriage usually…

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Ageing with HIV

HIV and AIDS disproportionately affects young women and girls in South Africa, so most of the research, information and HIV/AIDS interventions are increasingly focusing on this group. But what about older women who become HIV positive and those who were infected as young women but are now ageing on antiretroviral treatment? Nomthandazo Mbandazayo, SANAC Women’s Sector Coordinator reported in our May Informer on this overlooked group of people living with HIV and AIDS. Ageing is encircled by many negative stereotypes, including that older women are not sexually active, often resulting in a complete neglect of older women in HIV/AIDS policies and…

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