We all know there’s a problem around HIV (read yesterday’s blog) and that discrimination is still a current problem. If you combine those two problems, it gets even bigger. The fact is that there is a lot of gender inequality when it comes to having HIV. And that resolves into the fact that there is just not enough response to the disease.
Certainly women and young girls have a hard time when it comes to preventing HIV and getting infected with the virus. No less than one in five new infections in Africa are among females and it still remains the leading cause of death among African women. They are also three times as likely as men of the same age to be living with HIV.
For women who are at a higher risk of violence and discrimination, such as transgender women, sex worker, migrants and women with disabilities, it’s even worse.
Because of the inequality for those women -which also includes traditional practices like female circumcision- they have limited access to health services, education and employment. This leads to even more discrimination and stigma, which makes women extra vulnerable for HIV. It's a vicious circle and therefore a serious problem.
If you think about the fact that there are still so many women who have to fight so hard to just get access to health care and education, I feel like the world and society have definitely failed.
To help these women, it’s important to tackle all the causes. Making sure that women have a place to go to where they are safe and where they can talk about domestic violence. Making sure that harmful circumcisions are being banned everywhere. Making sure that women have access to decent education and health care.
Even though a lot of organisations are trying to fix all of these problems, there's still so much to do.
I’ve never understood why women or people of colour are being treated differently; we are all humans with a brain and heart, what is the difference?
So can we please finally stop discriminating each other now?