Miss SA to talk at UN event on mental health education for women and girls

29 June 2021 - 12:20
By Khanyisile Ngcobo
Miss SA Shudufhadzo Musida will address a UN event on mental health education, especially among girls and young women. File image.
Image: instagram/Shudufhatso Musida Miss SA Shudufhadzo Musida will address a UN event on mental health education, especially among girls and young women. File image.

Miss SA Shudufhadzo Musida has stressed the need “for education around issues of mental health” for women and girls as she prepares to address a UN event focused on the issue.

Musida will speak at the UN-convened event this Thursday and will be joined by former AU Youth Envoy Aya Chebbi, UNAids executive director Winnie Byanyima, Lesotho Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro and Gabon Prime Minister Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda. 

There she will discuss the importance of educating girls and young women, especially on mental health.

Musida said she was honoured to have been asked to speak at the 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.”

The beauty queen added that she believed there was 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.”  

The event is held under the auspices of the Generation Equality Forum, a global movement for gender equality, which this year sees the launch of the Education Plus Initiative (2021-2025).  

This is a high-profile advocacy drive to mobilise 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.