Miss South Africa, Shudufhadzo Musida will address a United Nations women convened event on Thursday, July 3, where she will discuss the importance of education for girls and young women.
Her emphasis will be on the need for mental health education, something which affects all aspects of health.
Held under the auspices of the Generation Equality Forum – a global movement for gender equality, this year sees the launch of the ‘Education Plus’ Joint Initiative (2021-2025).
This is a high-profile advocacy drive to mobilize decision-makers to accelerate action and investment to address the alarming numbers of adolescent girls and young women acquiring HIV and dying of AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa through the power of secondary education.
Musida said she is honoured to have been asked to speak at this auspicious event.
“I feel very strongly about the need for education around issues of mental health, and especially the removal of the stigma attached to anything to do with mental illness,” she says.
She believes there is a need for the integration of mental health education into existing programmes that target HIV prevention in communities and schools.
“An emphasis on mental health services may assist in the prevention and management of HIV.
“I call the mind the Powerhouse, the tool that can change lives and the narratives that exist in our society. For any change to come about in our societies, we need to empower the mind, because if we do not – we will live in a society that has low levels of self-awareness, inhibiting much-needed progress needed for our collective development.”
Musida said this was particularly important now during the global pandemic that has affected everyone, but especially young people.
Miss South Africa will join an esteemed group of speakers including Tunisian diplomat, Aya Chebbi, former African Union Youth Envoy; Winnie Byanyima, UNAIDS Executive Director, Lesotho Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro and Gabon Prime Minister, Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda.
Miss South Africa is presented by Weil Entertainment in association with M-Net, Mzansi Magic and Sun International.