Thousands of African girls and women are contracting HIV every day – because they’re not able to choose what happens to their bodies. If we’re to end the HIV epidemic, we must end gender inequality.

In sub-Saharan Africa, gender-based violence is fuelling a sharp rise in HIV among adolescent girls and young women aged 10 to 24.  

Those who are raped, abused or forced into relationships or marriage are three times more likely to get HIV. The risk doubles for those who experience violence at the hands of their partner. In many cases, a girl’s first sexual experience will not happen by choice. 

The world’s Global Goal on gender equality (SDG5) demands that we end all violence against women and girls. It’s time for her to decide. For her human rights to be honoured. For her voice to be heard. 

Will you add your voice to hers – and in doing so, empower all girls and young women?

How you can take action now

The #READYtoDecide campaign supports READY: a youth-led movement that mobilises young people globally to demand their right to a healthy life – whatever their circumstances, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. 

‘Like’ the READY Facebook page

Demand equality for girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa.

Stand with girls and young women

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Follow #READYtoDecide during these global events, as we share stories of those affected by gender-based violence.
Date 1 stay informed

16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence

Recognising the women and girls across the globe who are experiencing sexual, physical and psychological violence, including those most vulnerable to HIV.

Date 2 stay informed

World AIDS Day

Helping to end HIV and AIDS by empowering all girls and young women to speak out about gender-based violence – and also realise their right to health.

Date 3 stay informed

ICASA (International Conference on AIDS & STIs in Africa)

Helping to ensure young people’s voices are heard at Africa’s biggest forum on HIV and AIDS, this year in Cote d’Ivoire.

Date 4 stay informed

International Human Rights Day

Highlighting the continued violence and discrimination endured by lesbian women in South Africa, as we join them in standing up for their human rights.

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Stories and further reading

Empower girls, end the HIV epidemic

Add your voice to the READY movement, so together we can:

End gender inequality.
End gender-based violence.
End the HIV epidemic.