I am a 2017 SAfAIDS Young People’s Leadership Academy (YPLA) mentee, currently working as a Project Officer with Girls Empowerment Network (GENET) in Mzimba, Malawi. As a young person, I am passionate about the empowerment of young people, particularly girls, to prevent gender-based violence (GBV). On completing the first YPLA training module, I was very motivated to create change in my community and country. I utilised the knowledge I had gained through the training, along with other resources, to develop a sexual gender-based violence (SGBV) training manual for community members.

By Runyararo Mutariswa

“A rapist does not have to be a stranger, someone you never saw or a man with obvious problems to be legitimate. If you have been in public with him, danced one dance, kissed him goodbye lightly with a closed mouth, pressing charges will be as hard as keeping your legs closed while five fools try and run a train on you. These men, friends of ours, who smile nicely, take you out to dinner, then lock the door behind you.”

These lines from the movie ‘For Coloured Girls’ shed some light on the problematic nature of intimate sexual violence.

This day is set aside by the United Nations (UN) to highlight the gender inequality that girls face on a daily basis. Every girl deserves equal opportunities to excel in every facet of their lives and attain a bright future. However, this right continues to be violated gravely.  UN Women reports that every 10 minutes an adolescent girl dies as a result of violence somewhere in the world.  Nineteen percent of all women and girls between the ages of 15 to 49 years have experienced physical and/or sexual violence. Child marriage is rampant in most African communities and the voice of the girl child is all too often silenced.

UNAIDS and UNFPA Launch Road Map to Stop New HIV Infections

Press Release

UNAIDS and UNFPA launch road map to stop new HIV infections
Global HIV Prevention Coalition holds first meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, to find ways to strengthen and sustain political commitment for HIV prevention

GENEVA, 10 October 2017—As part of global efforts to end AIDS as a public health threat, UNAIDS, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and partners have launched a new road map to reduce new HIV infections. The HIV prevention 2020 road map was launched at the first meeting of the Global HIV Prevention Coalition. The coalition is chaired by the Executive Directors of UNAIDS and UNFPA and brings together United Nations Member States, civil society, international organizations and other partners as part of efforts to reduce new HIV infections by 75% by 2020.

‘Our Money, Our Budget’ Social Media Bash on the 2018 National Budget Presentation

Zambian finance minister, Felix Mutati, presented the 2018 National Budget to Parliament on 29 September, 2017. Due to the limitations in young people attending this event at the National Assembly, SAfAIDS in partnership with Action Aid (Global Platform Zambia) and CSPR provided live online coverage of the event on social media. This was conducted in the form of live tweets and Facebook updates so the adolescents both debated and shared their instant reactions to the policy pronouncements and budgetary allocations in the national budget as the minister of finance was presenting them .


Women and girls are counting on us!

Enforce the right to accessible, safe and legal abortion now

Windhoek, Namibia, 28 September 2017 – On International Safe Abortion Day, marked on 28 September, the AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA), the Alliance of Women Advocating for Change (AWAC), SAfAIDS and the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) call on African governments to ensure universal access to safe abortion by decriminalising abortion and amending or repealing laws that prevent women and girls from accessing abortions or post abortion care.