Thousands of African girls and women are contracting HIV every day – because they’re not able to choose what happens to their bodies. If we’re to end the HIV epidemic, we must end gender inequality.

In sub-Saharan Africa, gender-based violence is fuelling a sharp rise in HIV among adolescent girls and young women aged 10 to 24.  

Those who are raped, abused or forced into relationships or marriage are three times more likely to get HIV. The risk doubles for those who experience violence at the hands of their partner. In many cases, a girl’s first sexual experience will not happen by choice. 

The world’s Global Goal on gender equality (SDG5) demands that we end all violence against women and girls. It’s time for her to decide. For her human rights to be honoured. For her voice to be heard. 

Will you add your voice to hers – and in doing so, empower all girls and young women?

How you can take action now

The #READYtoDecide campaign supports READY: a youth-led movement that mobilises young people globally to demand their right to a healthy life – whatever their circumstances, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. The campaign is run with the Global Network of Young People Living with HIV (Y+) and also supports SheDecides, a global movement promoting the rights of girls and women.

‘Like’ the READY Facebook page

Demand equality for girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa.

Stand with girls and young women

Timeline (sept 2018) final original
Follow #READYtoDecide during these global events, as we share stories of those affected by gender-based violence.
Diary sep 25 (outlined) stay informed


Mobilising young people to speak out on gender-based violence on a global day of action for the Sustainable Development Goals

Diary oct11 stay informed

International Day of the Girl Child

Exploring the positive impact of skills building and employment to allow girls to live lives free of violence

Diary nov12 stay informed

International Family Planning Conference

Supporting the important role of young female leaders to advocate for gender equality at the largest conference on family planning and reproductive health

Diary nov25 stay informed

16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence

Empowering adolescent girls and young women to speak out about sexual and gender-based violence

Diary dec1 stay informed

World AIDS Day

Helping to end AIDS by supporting girls and young women experiencing violence to safely know their HIV status, and linking them to integrated care

Diary dec10 stay informed

International Human Rights Day

Highlighting the continued violence and discrimination endured by adolescent girls and young women living with and affected by HIV

Infographic 1a original
Sdg goal 5 original
Infographic 2b original

Stories and further reading

Empower girls, end the HIV epidemic

Add your voice to the READY movement, so together we can:

End gender inequality.
End gender-based violence.
End the HIV epidemic.