CategoriesBlog Press Release

Empowering Safely: Safe Digital Advocacy for Girls and Young Women!

Gracious Lekgoathi, an AfNHi youth cohort member and HER Voice Fund Ambassador for South Africa used her digital advocacy skills to create an impact at the Women Deliver Conference 2023. As a panelist on the topic of “Online Community Building,” she emphasized the importance of educating and investing in mental health support for girls and young women in the digital space. Gracious stressed the need for both digital and traditional advocacy to create safe and inclusive online spaces.

Screenshot 2023 07 31 at 11.20.41 She also stressed the need for both digital and traditional advocacy in order to create safe and inclusive online spaces for girls and young women. She used the digital advocacy skills she learned as part of the AFNHi youth cohort during the Youth Leadership and Advocacy programme to share her insights on creating safe and inclusive online spaces for girls and young women.

The Women Deliver Conference is a global gathering of leaders from the worlds of government, business, philanthropy, and civil society to discuss the health, rights, and well-being of girls and women. The conference was held in Kigali, Rwanda, from 16 to 20 July, 2023.

Her own experiences as a social impact digital content creator has given her a unique perspective on the power of digital media. She has seen how it can be used to raise awareness of important issues, connect with others, and build community. However, she also recognizes the potential for digital media to be used for harm. That’s why she is so passionate about using her digital advocacy skills to promote safe online spaces for girls and young women.

“We must not take for granted that girls are aware of how violence can occur online,” Lekgoathi said. “We need to educate them on their digital rights and how violence can surface online.”Screenshot 2023 07 31 at 11.20.58

Gracious also emphasized the importance of storytelling in digital advocacy. She believes that personal stories can be a powerful way to connect with others and raise awareness of important issues. “As we hold our policymakers accountable, let’s take into account that maybe they too need some of this information broken down to simpler terms for them to comprehend,” Gracious said. “This can be done through the storytelling of personal experiences.”

The AfNHi Youth Leadership and advocacy program which she is currently undergoing has provided Gracious with the skills and resources she needs to take her digital advocacy to the next level. She has so far learned how to create engaging content, build relationships with key stakeholders, and measure the impact of her work. She also gained the confidence to speak out on issues that matter to her, even when it’s difficult.

“I want to inspire girls and young women to use digital advocacy to become the best vision of themselves,” she said. “We have the power to change the world, and I believe that digital media is a powerful tool that we can use to do that.”

About the HER Voice Fund

The HER Voice Fund is a global initiative empowering adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) to advocate for their health and rights. Managed by Y+ Global, a youth-led organization promoting sexual and reproductive health, the fund uses digital advocacy through social media, online platforms, and training AGYW on digital tools to raise awareness and connect them to share experiences.

Gracious participation in the Women Deliver Conference was an important opportunity to raise awareness of the issue of violence against girls and young women online. Her digital advocacy skills helped her to reach a wide audience and to share her message of hope and empowerment. She is an inspiration to girls and young women everywhere, and her work is making a difference in the lives of those who are most vulnerable.

 

CategoriesBlog Press Release

United Nations High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage 2023

The 2023 United Nations High-Level Meeting (UN HLM) on universal health coverage (UHC)

provides countries and all stakeholders an opportunity to reinvigorate progress towards delivering health for all.  An action-oriented outcome focusing on building resilient and equitable health systems is key to provide the basis for implementation and accountability.

What is the Action Agenda from the UHC Movement?

The Action Agenda from the UHC movement is a set of action-oriented policy recommendations that country leaders should implement to strengthen resilient and equitable health systems, advance universal health coverage and health security, and deliver health for all by 2030. The UHC Action Agenda was developed by an inclusive, multi-stakeholder Task Force, which brings together twenty representatives from UHC2030 constituencies and beyond. It was informed by a public consultation which gathered 830 responses from over 100 countries. It was endorsed by the UHC2030 Steering Committee. Learn more.

Toward the High-level Meeting on UHC
The President of the UN General Assembly hosted an interactive multi-stakeholder hearing on UHC on May 9, 2023. The summary report from the hearing constitutes an official input for the drafting the Political Declaration on UHC. Intergovernmental negotiations on the Political Declaration on UHC started shortly after the hearing and should close by the end of July 2023.

 

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CategoriesBlog Press Release

HIV prevention advocates in Africa, Civil Society, and Communities condemn the signing of the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law by President Museveni: Calls for dialogue

HIV prevention advocates, communities, and representatives of diverse health networks strongly condemn President Museveni’s recent ascent to the anti-homosexuality bill, which poses a severe threat to the fundamental principles of human rights and equity in Uganda. The decision to approve this bill is deeply troubling and sends a distressing message to not only the LGBTIQ+ community but also to human rights defenders, civil society, activists, and individuals worldwide who advocate for equity and justice. This legislation directly violates the rights to privacy, freedom of expression, and freedom of association enshrined in international human rights conventions, by depriving such rights, this legislation limits access to HIV services and thereby undermines Uganda’s efforts and progress towards ending HIV. We denounce any legislation that discriminates against or marginalizes any segment of society, including the LGBTIQ+ community.

Every person deserves to live free from discrimination, persecution, and violence, and their rights must be respected and upheld by their governments, as such, we communities and civil society call upon;

  • We demand President Museveni and the Ugandan government immediately and unequivocally repeal the act, aligning with the obligations set forth in international human rights treaties that Uganda has willingly ratified.
  • African leaders and the international community to initiate a meaningful dialogue with the Ugandan Government, urging them to reconsider this unjust and discriminatory legislation.
  • We implore other African nations not to entertain legislations that undermine human rights and pose a grave risk to communities seeking vital health services, as such actions could hinder progress towards global goals.

About AfNHi:
Africa free of New HIV infections (AfNHi) is an African regional advocacy network dedicated to advancing advocacy, policy, regulatory, community engagement, and communications efforts that help accelerate biomedical HIV prevention research in Africa. The network began in 2012 as an extended exchange around the need to champion African-led advocacy in biomedical HIV prevention research among HIV Prevention advocates.

Signed by communities, HIV prevention advocates, young people, representatives of health networks, and Civil Society organizations, indicating their collective support.

  1.  Activists Education and Development Centre (AEDC)
  2.  Africa free of New HIV infections (AfNHi)
  3.  AIpas
  4. Advocacy for prevention of HIV and AIDS (APHA)
  5. AVAC
  6. Caribbean Centre for Human Rights
  7. Consolation East Africa (CEA)
  8. County government of kajiado
  9. Civil Society Platform on Health in Africa (CiSPHA)
  10. The Eastern Africa National Networks of AIDS and Health Service Organizations (EANNASO)
  11. Feminists in Kenya
  12. Global Fund Advocates Network – GFAN Africa
  13. Global Health Visions
  14. Global Justice Institute
  15.  Glebia org
  16. GNP+
  17. Hope for Future Generations
  18.  Impact Drivers
  19.  IPM
  20.  Key Affect Populations Alliance of Lesotho
  21. Key Population Consortium of Kenya
  22.  LEHA
  23.  Mirror Arts
  24.  Metropolitan Community Churches
  25.  Nadharia Kenya
  26. PEMA Kenya
  27.  Positive Young Women Voices
  28.  PYWV_LBQ WOMXN
  29. Reproductive Health Network Kenya -RHNK
  30.  Stephen Lewis Foundation
  31. Tanzania AIDS Forum
  32.  Tanzania Network of Women Living with HIV
  33.  The Botswana Network on Ethics Law HIVAIDS
  34.  The Queer Republic
  35. Touch A Child Initiative
  36.  Trans Alliance Anna Foundation Uganda
  37.  Uganda Network of AIDS Service Organizations (UNASO)
  38. Vijana pamoja
  39. WACI Health
  40.  Wits RHI, Johannesburg, South Africa
  41.  Y+ Global
  42.  YEM Kenya
  43. Youth Advisory Council
  44.  Youth Spaces Africa
  45.  ZOOLOOh International

 

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