Combating Gender inequalities to Reduce HIV/AIDS transmission; A football tournament initiative 1st December 2022 (WORLD AIDS DAY)
Gender inequalities continue to manifest in various aspects of society, including healthcare. In many communities, these inequalities are contributing to an increase in new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths among adolescent girls and boys. To address this issue, we organized a football tournament at Oyiengo Primary School, aiming to sensitize the community on HIV prevention, Treatment, and care. Adolescence is a critical phase in life, and the inequalities faced by girls and boys during this period have far-reaching consequences. In many communities, girls face limited access to education, healthcare, and resources compared to their male counterparts. These disparities contribute to higher rates of new HIV infections among girls, as well as increased vulnerability to gender-based violence and unplanned pregnancies. In our efforts to combat gender inequalities and reduce HIV transmission, we organized a football tournament at Oyieng primary school for the local girls' and boys' teams. This tournament served as a platform to raise awareness and engage the community in an inclusive dialogue on pressing issues. By blending sports and education, we aimed to deliver crucial messages effectively and foster a positive environment for change. In parallel to the tournament, we conducted participatory theatre sessions in partnership with Amazon theatrixs to address HIV prevention and its intersection with teenage pregnancies and gender-based violence. Through this interactive medium, we encouraged community members to actively participate and challenge harmful norms and behaviors. By facilitating open discussions surrounding these sensitive topics, we aimed to break down stigmas and establish a supportive network.
The football tournament and participatory theatre proved to be effective in engaging the community and addressing gender inequalities that contribute to HIV transmission. By empowering adolescent girls and boys, promoting education, and fostering a supportive environment, we took significant strides toward reducing new HIV infections, teenage pregnancies, and gender-based violence.
Moving forward, it is imperative that communities continue to prioritize gender equality, access to education, and comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services for all adolescents. By collectively challenging gender norms and working towards a more inclusive society, we can create a safer and healthier future for all.