First Ladies of Africa | Fight HIV/AIDS

On 2 August 2010, the Organisation of First Ladies of Africa  (OAFLA) met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. OAFLA decided to make its permanent office in Addis Ababa at its 7th January 2010 meeting.  At the meeting they discussed the improvement of the lives of women in Africa through the management and eventual eradication of HIV/AIDS.  These remarkable women are also committed to poverty alleviation and gender equality.

OAFLA was instituted to fight against the spread of the deadly virus across the continent through education and the implementation of preventive measures among their country's populations. OAFLA also convened on 20 September 2010 in New York to participate in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Summit, on the issue of women and children malnutrition.

Ethiopian first lady Azeb Mesfin, the newly elected president of the Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS, recently said that women in Africa need increased political power to effectively fight HIV/AIDS on the continent, the Panafrican News Agency reports.

Mesfin in her inaugural address said that African women "must have access to power. If we want to win the war against the poverty, we must empower them also to fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic." Mainstream politics in Africa often marginalize women, leaving them without the power to influence decisions on their social and economic development, Mesfin said, adding that women "must be free to make choices to reduce HIV/AIDS."

Azeb who cited the success attained by the National Coalition for Women Against HIV/AIDS in eliminating Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Afar state, called on other African countries to follow similar approaches to avoid harmful traditional practices in their respective countries. Source: The Body

Below is a slideshow of the First Ladies of Africa, and you can click here video to view a video of all the beautiful capitals of the many countries these women have the privilege of representing.  Also, please take the opportunity to visit the post titled "Combating Racism Against Africans" to read more. [slideshow]