Geingos highlights the social realities that jeopardize educational outcomes at international platform
The First Lady of Namibia (FLON), Monica Geingos participated in a panel discussion on 22 September, at the ‘Partnering to Get Back on Track to End AIDS by 2030′, High-Level Side Event hosted by UNAIDS, PEPFAR and Global Fund.
Geingos emphasized the complicated, nuanced and gendered environment that teenage girls and young women must negotiate on a daily basis, noting that attention and money have been shifted to COVID-19, thus raising the stakes for girls and women proportionally.
She further stated that school closures during lockdowns reduced protective factors, such as access to sexual reproductive information, which has been shown to be five times more effective in avoiding unplanned pregnancy and STIs and increasing young people’s agency.
“Good policies do have an influence on educational outcomes, social-cultural and religious beliefs can reverse gains, there the importance of data in determining our policy response, stating that the evidence for sex education is clear,” she added.
She further highlighted the importance of funding for programmes in the areas of substance abuse and mental health, which if unchecked can accelerate poor health outcomes.
“I commend UNAIDS’ collaborative and meaningful partnership, led by Winnie Byanyima, who convened the dialogue and only by breaking down silos can we ensure that our response is coordinated and impactful,” she concluded.