By Asmau Ahmad
The United Nations Joint Action Against HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), on Friday, urged young people to be agents of change in the fight against Gender-Based Violence (GBV).
UNAIDS Country Director, Dr Leo Zekeng, made the call during an Advocacy Workshop on GBV, Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR), Mental Health and Wellness, organised by the Association of Women Living with in Nigeria (ASHWAN) in Abuja.
Represented by Mr Gabriel Undelikwo, the Community Mobilisation Adviser of UNAIDS, Zekeng said it was time for young people to make a difference by staying in schools and staying out of GBV.
The country director affirmed the commitment of the UN to amplify the voices of young people, especially those living with HIV.
He added that “women too cannot be left behind; UNAIDS will continue to amplify their voices; especially those living with HIV.”
He reiterated the willingness of the UN to help not only women living with HIV, but women with mental health challenges.
Mrs Patience Ekoba from UN Women commended ASHWAN for the efforts in giving hope to members.
Ekoba, however, called for stronger collaboration with the media in the advocacy for the fight against GBV and wellness of young people.
She said mental health is one of the greatest challenges ravaging young people, especially those living with HIV.
Mrs Assumpta Reginald, the National Coordinator of ASHWAN congratulated the participants on their preparation.
Reginald described the training as an opportunity to empower them as advocates to champion the course and needs of adolescents and young women living with HIV.
She thanked the UN Women for continued investments on the association and urged other partners to support ASHWAN technically and financially to take the training to the sub-nationals.
The trainees were drawn from the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja with focus on GBV and stigma reduction.