Winnie Byanyima, the esteemed Executive Director of UNAIDS, took to X (Twitter) yesterday to express her distress and frustration over repeated instances of racial harassment she has endured at her place of residence in Geneva, Switzerland
Byanyima shared that for the last three years she has resided in a building that has an adjoining private park. Despite being a legitimate resident, she has faced repeated confrontations with security personnel, solely for exercising in the park. The most recent and concerning incident took place earlier this week when an identified neighbor that she only referred to as “he” went as far as calling the police on her while she was in the midst of her workout routine. The arriving officers, according to Byanyima, treated her as though she were an intruder in her own space, interrupting her session with a rude demeanor.
“I’ve had enough of racist harassment,” Byanyima tweeted, underscoring the emotional toll these encounters have taken on her. “Today he called the cops on me who rudely stopped my workout. The cops treated me like an intruder in my own space.”
I’ve had enough of racist harassment. For 3 yrs I’ve lived in a blg with this private park. Security constantly target me just for exercising in our park. Today he called the cops on me who rudely stopped my workout. The cops treated me like an intruder in my own space. 😡 pic.twitter.com/pb3FlPmsHz
— Winnie Byanyima (@Winnie_Byanyima) August 23, 2023
The incident serves as a stark reminder that even individuals in prominent positions, such as Byanyima, are not immune to the deeply rooted biases that still persist in society. This story touches on broader concerns about racial profiling, discrimination, and the implications for people of color worldwide.
Byanyima has been a formidable presence in the global arena, advocating for human rights, gender equality, and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. Her role as the Executive Director of UNAIDS, an advocate for worldwide action against the HIV/AIDS pandemic, brings her in contact with global leaders and top-tier diplomats.