The Rudra Béjart's School dances for gender equality

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The Rudra Béjart's School dances for gender equality

14 March 2014

On the eve of International Women’s Day, UNAIDS, the Hotel InterContinental Genève and the Rudra-Béjart School of Dance came together to promote health equity and to ensure that women and girls living with HIV are not left behind.

The Rudra Béjart's School of Dance with the pianist Melodie Zhao presented an exclusive performance about gender equality and women’s empowerment created to commemorate the International Women’s Day (8 March). "For this event, I asked my staff to create choreographies that show the ‘men-women, harmony’ theme,” said Michel Gascard, Director of the Rudra Béjart's Dance School.

Throughout the evening the audience saw different pieces created by a variety of choreographers ranging from classical and improvised dances to songs in Russian—a reminder that the Women's Day date stems from the empowerment of the women in Russia in 1917.

“This event is an illustration of how the world of art, the private sector and the United Nations can join forces in support of women and girls living with HIV,” said Mariangela Simao, Chief of rights, gender and community mobilisation division at UNAIDS.  “If we want to achieve our vision of zero new HIV infections, zero AIDS-related deaths and zero discrimination we need many partners and friends from different sectors,” she added.

The celebration is one of the events planned for 2014 as part of the joint UNAIDS and the Hotel InterContinental Genève campaign ‘Where History is Made’—which aims to raise awareness and funds for the elimination of new HIV infections among children and keep mothers alive.

“Since launching our joint campaign in December, we at the InterContinental and many of our guests feel part of the global AIDS response”, said Jürgen Baumhoff, General Manager of the Hôtel InterContinental Geneva. “It has inspired us to be more actively involved with UNAIDS to achieve an AIDS-free generation.”

Gender inequality, including gender-based violence is a key risk factor for HIV among women. As a result, women and girls bear a disproportionate burden of the HIV epidemic. Globally, young women aged 15–24 are most vulnerable to HIV, with infection rates twice as high as in young men. According to UNAIDS, every hour 50 young women are newly infected with HIV and up to 45% of adolescent girls around the world report that their first sexual experience was forced. 

The Rudra Béjart's School of Dance is a private international free school sponsored by Sandoz, Béjart Ballet Lausanne, Loterie Romande, Fondation Leenaards, Béjart, Jaquet Droz.