As the world commemorated the International Women’s Day on March 8, Standard Bank Malawi stepped up its efforts in empowering women by incorporating the HIV Epidemic Response (HER) campaign for women and girls.
The bank’s head of marketing and communications Thoko Unyolo said this is part of the bank’s contribution to highlight the critical need for support and an opportunity to curb new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women.
“Some of the challenges the youth face regarding HIV and Aids are preventable. We believe investing to end the epidemic is an investment in healthier societies and the business community has a vital role to play. Among other things, Standard Bank in Malawi, together with the group will contribute financial resources to scale-up the most impactful HIV prevention programmes for adolescent girls and young women,” said Unyolo.
As a way of raising awareness for the campaign, the bank has also been profiling its executive management on social media with the bank’s pledges to support the HER Campaign.
“As part of the campaign, members of the executive committee led by chief executive William le Roux are making personal commitments towards supporting girls and women in the fight against HIV and Aids. These are in form of thematic declaration of how they intend to support childs, such as Put what matters to HER first; Empower HER; Educate HER,” she said.
In terms of how they intend to reach out to girls with the campaign, Unyolo said the bank would ride on its mentorship programme for girls in rural areas in partnership with United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef).
“The plan is to introduce an HIV module in the mentorship toolkit. As you know, the majority of the population in Malawi is women and girls (and predominantly youth). When you educate a girl, you educate a nation as the woman ensures her children are educated. Investing in the women and youth of Malawi is basically securing the future of the country,” she said.
The HER campaign aims to inspire advocates, engage supporters and invest resources to empower women and girls to end Aids. n