The Young and Disenchanted

Why I Rock the Red Pump

Posted on: 10 March, 2010

Today I have my first interview for a potential post-grad job. I’m excited, a little scared – and a little thrown off cos it’s with an insurance firm (not usually the industry you see English/Poli Sci majors with a penchant for photography and obscene language going in to). I’m pulling out the power suit my sister gave me, the pearl earrings so I look extra classy with it… and of course, a pair of red pumps to represent the Red Pump Project, a media campaign that seeks to raise awareness about the impact HIV/AIDS have on women and girls.

I recently read a BBC article that said that HIV has become the number one cause of death and disease among women of reproductive age around the world. As a person who fits into this category, and especially as a sub-Saharan woman (in my part of the world 60% of people with HIV are women) who has personally seen the sorrow HIV/AIDS can cause, this fact has particular resonance with me.  Even more harrowing is the fact that 70% of women worldwide have been coerced into having unprotected sex. Grim as these statistics may be, it is important that we focus not on how women have been made victims, but how we can empower and educate one another and tackle this disease head-on, as well as the ignorance and stigmas that are attached to it. Building alliances, spreading the word… whatever small way each of us can help is in no way negligible. Many small acts combined together make for a force to be reckoned with.

I hope one day that the world will be free of HIV/AIDS . Even if I never see that in my lifetime, I hope that the work of organisations such as the Red Pump Project and the amazingly passionate people behind it will push that vision through. Check out their website here for more info: http://www.theredpumpproject.com/

K, time to get ready for my interview. Wish me and my red pumps luck!

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