By Maggie Jeffries —
Our Alliance continues to grow! In the last month, we have added six new member organizations from around the world. The advocates and changemakers joining the Alliance come from Ethiopia, Liberia, Pakistan, Syria, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. With a range of focus area, these members are working to challenge social norms and behaviors that threaten the status of women and girls in their respective communities.
This month, we are featuring Promoting Public and Social Development Programs in Health (PPSDPH) of Liberia and their important program focused on HIV/AIDS awareness and education.
In 2013 the National AIDS Control Program of the Ministry of Health and the National AIDS Commission of Liberia conducted the HIV prevalence study, identifying which priority groups needed urgent assistance on HIV-related services, preventative measures, and education. In addition, and as a result of, PPSDPH was formed as a response to this study to work with women and girls in particular, as an at-risk group with higher rates of HIV infection.
One of the target groups identified by the study was young female sex workers. Working hand in hand with national authorities, PPSDPH’s local level work focuses on advocating for the rights of sex workers and providing information and services to the community on HIV as well as sexual and reproductive health and rights. As stated by the Executive Director of PPSDPH, Queenie Nah, the organization recognizes the need for grassroots organizations and government agencies collaboration:
The government of Liberia and its partners have applied all effort to address sexual and reproductive rights and health by strengthening community involvement in reproductive rights. Due to the demand for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Services across the country, with a growing need for access to young women, we need universal access to reproductive health[care] to balance population growth and socio-economic development and quality of life.
Along with providing access to health care and important testing services for sex workers, PPSDPH is also focused on breaking the stigma of sex work in Liberia. By advocating for marginalized groups in their communities and working to break social norms and behaviors surrounding access to reproductive and sexual health, PPSDPH is disrupting the status quo.
(Queenie promoting HIV awareness)
For PPSDPH being a member of the Women Thrive Alliance means connecting with other organizations in partnership to change the lives of women in their community and around the world. Through our Alliance online, in just two months, PPSDPH has already shared their programming and received great feedback from other Alliance members. Being a part of the Alliance has facilitated discussions and partnership building for PPSDPH with other gender equality advocates working on issues of sexual and reproductive health around the world.
Women Thrive’s Alliance members, like PPSDPH, are embracing and taking advantage of the resources and community that the Alliance brings them. As our Alliance grows through country and region, there are more opportunities for partnership and networking for our members. With our collective advocacy, Women Thrive Alliance and the member organizations are creating a worldwide movement for gender equality!
If you are or you know a grassroots women’s advocacy organization from the Global South and would like to know more about Women Thrive Alliance, get in touch today and follow us on Twitter and Facebook!