International Women’s Day 2020: We All Have a Part in Empowering Women to Stay Healthy on Their Own Terms

IPM on #IWD2020: To empower women to stay healthy and HIV-free on their own terms, we ALL have a part to play.

As we find ourselves five years into the global effort to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment by 2030, as outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals, slow progress toward that vision can sometimes make success feel out of reach.

But it is possible. And it will take all of us—across borders, sectors, skills and ages—to get it done. 

Vast gender disparities persist in educational and economic opportunities, social and legal protections, and more. When it comes to their health, women continue to be left behind—especially in sub-Saharan Africa, where they often cannot access essential services and remain at alarmingly high risk for HIV.

Many factors affect women’s risk for HIV, including their ability to negotiate condom use and gender-based violence.

For our part at IPM, we’re working to empower women with a broader range of products they can use to reduce their HIV risk and protect their sexual and reproductive health on their own terms, without male partner involvement. Women should be able to choose the product that works best for them. After all, it’s their health and well-being at stake.  

Our work is just one part of a larger #GenerationEquality effort, but it’s an important part.

Much more needs to be done to address the inequities women face when it comes to their HIV risk, including improving their access to existing methods like daily oral PrEP, expanding their options with promising products in development like long-acting vaginal rings, and integrating HIV and other sexual and reproductive health services. 

Realizing this vision requires new ideas, continued investment and robust partnerships—principles that drive our work at IPM. Together with our partners, we’re proud to contribute to the worldwide movement to achieve gender equality.

Have a happy and healthy International Women’s Day. 

The IPM Team