The United Nations High Level Taskforce on women, girls, gender equality and HIV for Eastern and Southern Africa has called for accelerated effort in protecting the rights and wellbeing of young girls.
The taskforce concluded its one-week high-level political advocacy mission in South Africa on Saturday, calling for renewed effort and commitment to protect the health and rights of young girls in the country.
The taskforce was in the country to conduct a mid-term review. The Department for Women, Children and People with Disabilities invited the taskforce to do an independent assessment of the extent to which the country has been able to discharge its responsibilities and to share its views and experiences on the critical issues facing women and girls in the country such as teenage pregnancy, gender based-violence, prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV and sex work.
Members of the taskforce met with South Africa’s high-level political leadership, the United Nations in South Africa, civil society organisations and other stakeholders working on the HIV response. They also held discussions with networks of women, people living with HIV and lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender and intersex (LGBTI) communities as part of their assessment process.
Kenyan Minister of Gender, Children and Social Development – who was the leader of the delegation -Dr Naomi Shaban applauded the South African government for its efforts in PMTCT.
“South Africa has done a commendable job in significantly reducing transmission of HIV from pregnant women to their new-borns, but more still needs to be done to keep mothers alive,” said