The world is far from meeting the shared commitment to end AIDS by 2030, not because of a lack of knowledge, skills or means to defeat AIDS, but because of structural inequalities that stand in the way of proven solutions in HIV prevention and treatment.


The gender inequality suffered by women manifests itself in all areas of life. The right to education, to housing and decent work, to food and security, and to quality health are basic rights that are violated globally for millions of people, the vast majority of whom are women and girls. On 1 March, the United Nations (UN) commemorates Zero Discrimination Against Women and Girls Day, a day to remember the importance of equality, dignity and worth of all people.


This year, within the framework of Zero Discrimination Day, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) is making a global call to demand fair and equal treatment for people with HIV. The Columbares Association joins this commitment and proposes to work through the "Safe and Free Women" programme to promote equality and raise awareness of the discrimination suffered by women and girls around the world.


Tackling inequalities and ending discrimination is key to eradicating HIV.


This gender inequality, accompanied by violence, poverty and insecurity in which millions of women and girls survive, increases the risk factors for HIV infection, as well as the precarious conditions of those already infected. Prostitution, trafficking of women for sexual exploitation and the multiple sexual violence to which women and girls are subjected on a daily basis constantly exposes them to possible infection and leads to death.


Women and girls deserve and demand equal rights, equal opportunities and equal treatment. Gender-based violence comes in many forms and must also be tackled in an intersectional manner through awareness-raising, prevention and protection. A woman or girl sickened by a system that discriminates against and abandons her results in a sick society.


The Programme for awareness-raising, prevention and comprehensive protection against gender-based violence in immigrant women and their descendants "Safe and free women" is funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration of the Government of Spain.