UN appoints rock-and-roll icon Annie Lennox to spotlight toll of HIV on women, girls

Annie Lennox, new UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador, and Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director

2 June 2010 – Scottish singer, songwriter and women’s activist Annie Lennox will use her voice to speak out for women and girls affected by HIV in her new role as International Goodwill Ambassador for the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).

“I am sure with her incredible passion and presence, she will raise awareness of the terrible toll HIV has taken on women and girls,” said UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé.

“With her amazing energy, she will make sure international, national and community leaders challenge the injustice of gender inequality,” he added.

As an activist and campaigner, Ms. Lennox has worked with numerous organizations on issues of social justice. In October 2007, she launched her own “SING” campaign, working to raise awareness and support for women and children affected by the AIDS pandemic in southern Africa.

The award-winning singer has also supported UNAIDS by participating in the March 2010 launch of a five-year action plan aimed at ending gender inequalities and human rights violations.

In the Agenda for Accelerated Country Action for Women, Girls, Gender Equality and HIV (2010-2014), the UN teams up with governments, civil society and development partners to address gender inequalities and human rights violations that put women and girls at risk for HIV infection.

More than 33.4 million people have been living with HIV worldwide since December 2008, half of them women. In sub-Saharan Africa, 60 per cent of people living with HIV are women.

“The daily brutality faced by millions of women and girls is unacceptable,” said Ms. Lennox. “If we are to end the cycle of human devastation triggered by the AIDS epidemic, we must address the rights of women and girls and challenge their second class citizen status, which puts them at greater risk of HIV.”

Ms. Lennox will be participating, in her new role as International Goodwill Ambassador, at the Women Deliver 2010 conference and the 2010 Global Business Coalition conference, both to be held in Washington next week.


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