First Ladies Have Leadership Role To Play In Efforts To End HIV/AIDS

STAT: First ladies can help lead the fight against HIV/AIDS
Agnes Mahomva, Zimbabwe country director for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and permanent secretary of Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Health and Child Care

“…[W]omen need to lead on HIV/AIDS. A personal understanding of gender inequality and disempowerment gives them greater insight into overcoming those obstacles and better serving vulnerable populations. … [F]irst ladies have a special place in the rich history of women’s leadership on AIDS. … Citizens often see their first ladies as role models and moral leaders — a natural advantage in delivering sociocultural messages to the public. … First ladies also can leverage their authority to publicly denounce stigma and discrimination — social forces that interfere with diagnosis and care by forcing people living with HIV into the shadows. … [M]ost importantly, first ladies can play a crucial role in amplifying all women’s voices. Through their positions in national leadership, they have a natural platform for speech and advocacy that other women may struggle to access. Such privilege bestows opportunity — not just to make a difference themselves, but to make heard the voices and empower the actions of women of all ages who are living with and affected by HIV…” (5/29).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

KFF Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270 | Email Alerts: | |

The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.