UNAids head calls for a ‘women’s meet­ing’

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS - PE­TER KENNY

THE ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of UNAids, Michel Sidibé, who met pro­test­ers in Midrand this week call­ing for him to step down for fail­ing to take proper steps to deal with sex­ual ha­rass­ment at the or­gan­i­sa­tion, says he wants to have a women’s meet­ing in Africa to forge the way for­ward on end­ing sex­ual ha­rass­ment.

“Dur­ing my re­cent visit to South Africa, I lis­tened care­fully to you, I heard you,” said Sidibé af­ter his visit yes­ter­day.

“The HIV epi­demic is in­ex­tri­ca­bly linked to sex­ual and gen­der-based vi­o­lence and the two can never be sep­a­rated.

“We need the pas­sion of ad­vo­cates to move is­sues for­ward.” He urged his crit­ics to come to­gether and ad­dress sex­ual ha­rass­ment and gen­der in­equal­ity:

“In col­lab­o­ra­tion with you, I am call­ing for a women’s meet­ing in Africa to forge the way for­ward…

“A trans­for­ma­tive agenda to ad­dress sex­ual ha­rass­ment and gen­der in­equal­ity is ur­gent.

“Let us work to­gether to­wards it, let us spend our time and en­ergy on this im­por­tant agenda.” Sidibé spoke to pro­test­ers on Wed­nes­day, but Vuyokazi Gonyela from Sec­tion 27 and the Treat­ment Ac­tion Cam­paign re­jected his ex­pla­na­tion for han­dling the case of a for­mer UNAids ex­ec­u­tive body mem­ber.

“His apol­ogy is not good enough,” she said. – In­de­pen­dent For­eign Ser­vice

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