Aug 12, 2008, 5:17 AM
ROJALNU Gambia, a Pan African Youth
Leadership Network, recently joined the rest of the world to celebrate World
Discrimination Day, as discrimination continues to affect the lives of millions
of people around the world.
Celebrated March 1, the theme for this year was: “Commit to ensuring everyone, everywhere can access healthcare safely and live life fully with dignity.”
Speaking on the occasion, the president of ROJALNU Gambia, Ms Tenneng Gitteh, said support gained for Zero Discrimination Day has created a global movement of solidarity to end discrimination, which remains widespread.
“Millions of women and girls in every region of the world experience violence and abuse, and are unable to exercise their rights or gain access to healthcare services, education or employment.
Discriminating at work, at homes, schools, work, communities, and healthcare reduces people’s ability, especially women and girls, to participate fully and meaningfully in societies and provide care for themselves and their families.”
She said globally, 38 countries, territories and areas impose some form of restriction on the entry, stay and residence of people living with HIV.
Furthermore, he added, the legal and social environment are still failing to address stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV and those most vulnerable to HIV infection
Despite the disturbing challenges faced over the previous years, The Gambia has made huge impact in the fight against HIV/AIDS with the support from UNAIDS, UNFPA, NAS, ACTIONAID, and GFATM, among others.
For this year’s World Zero Discrimination Day, the Pan African Youth Leadership Network compliments the effort of UNAIDS Gambia and the regional body of UNAIDS, West and Central Africa and National Aids Secretariat, and calls on everyone in the country and beyond to make noise on every platform, social and print media, radio talk shows, to reach out to the whole world.
They also called on the government of The Gambia to make greater efforts to realize and protect human rights and prevent discrimination.
Everyone has the right to be treated with respect from discrimination and abuse, because discriminations does not just hurt individuals, it hurts everyone, she said.
“Data from 50 countries showed that 1 out of 8 people who are living with HIV/AIDS have been denied access to healthcare. This action is unacceptable as healthcare is a fundamental human right that needs to be protected by everyone, because discriminations keep people from their right to access healthcare.”