SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2016

Global Fund updates initiative to fight global gender inequality

The Global Fund to Fight HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria recently met to revisit its gender equality campaign to address new challenges in reaching underserved female populations with its health initiatives.

"We have to do more on gender equality," Executive Director of the Global Fund Mark Dybul said. "There are many aspects to this work, and one of them is putting women and girls at the center of our health interventions."

The Global Fund said that women and young girls are more vulnerable to HIV, TB and malaria due to global gender inequalities and abuse, such as rape. The Global Fund also identified that female sex workers, drug users and transgender are at a higher risk of disease still and may have challenges getting treatment due to gender inequality.

The Global Fund held a board meeting Friday, in observation of International Women's Day, where gender inequality was addressed. The international organization welcomed testimonies from women and men from India, Indonesia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Myanmar, who urged the Global Fund to take action against gender inequalities.

More than 50 representatives from international organization and donor governments, including affected women, met to discuss viable steps toward fighting gender inequality through health initiatives that target the most vulnerable populations. The Action Plan of the Global Fund Gender Equality Strategy was updated to address these new challenges.

"We are making progress towards the defeat of these diseases, and greater involvement of women will be key," Chair of the Board of the Global Fund Dr. Nafsiah Mboi said. "This is an important challenge for all of us. It will require a collective effort from all our partners."