18th ICASA | 29 NOV - 4 DEC 2015 | HARARE | ZIMBABWE
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON AIDS AND STIs IN AFRICA
ICASA 2015 Zimbabwe > News > Leaders are called upon to enact legislation that will help countries meet their HIV targets by 2030
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Leaders are called upon to enact legislation that will help countries meet their HIV targets by 2030

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On the occasion of World AIDS Day (Dec 1st, 2015), the African Union is hosted the African Parliamentary and Leadership Colloquium, as a special session at the International Conference for AIDS and STIs (ICASA). The Colloquium has created a platform for African parliamentarians to reflect on the successes of the continent in addressing HIV and AIDS, and to discuss strategies and policies to ensure that countries are able to meet their targets in future.

The colloquium was addressed by Honourable Wina Inonge, Vice President of Zambia. Honourable Inonge, emphasised that everything starts and ends with leaders. She proposed that leaders need to take up the following measures to ensure that African countries meet their HIV targets. She emphasised that traditional leaders need to take charge and address cultural norms influencing HIV. Recognising that HIV/AIDS in African is reflected in the face of women and girls, she encouraged African leaders should be at the forefront of promoting the protection of women’s rights. She called on all Parliamentarians to play their role and enact legislation that will help the continent eliminate HIV and AIDS.

Presenters at the Colloquium spoke on strategies to reduce child marriages. Honourable Innocent Gonese from Zimbabwe shared the steps that SADC has taken to develop a model law on child marriages. Ms Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, Goodwill Ambassador, Child Marriage, The AU Campaign to end Child Marriage, spoke passionately about the need to correct the injustice of child marriage. She reported that 15 million girls in Africa have been married as children, and that it is important that these girls have been married by 15 million adult men. Ms Gumbonzvanda challenged Parliamentarians and leaders to identify strategies that can provide practical support to young women, especially those living with HIV.


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