Current Affairs

UNAIDS calls for zero discrimination against women, girls

UNAIDS calls for zero discrimination against women, girls

Zero Discrimination Day 2020: The Zero Discrimination Day 2020 was observed globally on March 1, 2020 to challenge the discrimination and inequality faced by women and girls. The day aims to raise awareness and rally action to protect women’s rights, strike down discriminatory norms and promote women empowerment and gender equality.

Zero Discrimination Day 2020 theme: Zero Discrimination against Women and Girls

The theme of Zero Discrimination Day 2020 aims to focus on areas that require urgent changes to enable equality for all women and girls. While some countries have made notable progress towards achieving gender equality, discrimination still exists against women and girls based on factors including income, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity and race.

Gender inequality disproportionately harms women and girls, affecting their health and well being as well. There are many countries that have discriminatory laws against women and girls. On the other hand, laws upholding the basic rights of women and which protect them from harm and unequal treatment are still far from common.

Hence, the day aims to advocate for empowering women and girls, call for their equal participation in decision making, equal pay for equal work, equality in the provision of health care, ending gender-based violence and provision of equal access to education.

What is Zero Discrimination Day?

The Zero Discrimination Day is observed every year by the United Nations and Joint United Nations Programme on HIV & AIDS (UNAIDS) on March 1. The day aims to celebrate everyone’s right to live a full and productive life with dignity and equality before the law. The day is observed to promote a peaceful, inclusive and compassionate society, where no one is subjected to discrimination of any manner.

Importance of Zero Discrimination Day

As per UNAIDS, at least one among three women and girls across the world have experienced some form of violence in their lives, with adolescent girls experiencing higher rates of partner violence than adult women overall. In some countries, more than 50 percent of women have reported incidents of violence against them in the past 12 months.


The United Nations had first observed the Zero Discrimination Day on March 1, 2014 after UNAIDS launched its Zero Discrimination Campaign on World AIDS Day in December 2013.

The Zero Discrimination Day aims to celebrate everyone’s right to live a full and productive life with due dignity. The day aims to create global solidarity to end all forms of discrimination. According to UNAIDS, fighting discrimination against women is important to beat HIV/ AIDS.

In her message for Zero Discrimination Day 2020, Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of UNAIDS said that the struggle to beat AIDS is inseparable from the struggle to fight for women’s rights and end all forms of discrimination.

UNAIDS aims to end the public threat of AIDS by the year 2030 as a part of the Sustainable Development Goals.

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