International Women’s Day Prompts Calls for Equality, Increased Efforts Against HIV/AIDS
To mark International Women's Day on Tuesday, political leaders, women's rights advocates and others worldwide called for equality for women, including increased efforts in the fight against HIV/AIDS, the AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports (Lederer, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 3/8). U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan issued a message in honor of the day, saying gender equality is a "vital element of development and peace for each nation" and an "obligation" of the entire international community, VOV News reports (VOV News, 3/8). Annan, assessing women's advancement in the 10 years since the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, said the "terrifying" spread of HIV/AIDS among women and girls is a new challenge in the struggle for women's empowerment, BBC News reports (BBC News, 3/8). However, Annan said improvements have been made. "Over this decade, we have seen tangible progress on many fronts," he said, adding, "Life expectancy and fertility rates have improved." Annan also reaffirmed the United Nations' commitment to promoting equality, saying, "No other policy is as likely to raise economic productivity or to reduce infant and maternal mortality. No other policy is as sure to improve nutrition and promote health, including the prevention of HIV/AIDS" (Kashar News, 3/8). The World Food Programme also marked International Women's Day with a statement saying that the group is committed to "reducing additional burdens often put on women in developing countries," Agence France-Presse reports. The group said it provides food for women in developing countries to reduce the "heavy burden of responsibility" for providing for their families, including small packages of food for women whose health is affected by HIV/AIDS, according to Agence France-Presse (Agence France-Presse, 3/7).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.