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March 8th is International Women’s Day, a day for us to once again remind ourselves of the situation for women in Sub-Saharan Africa.  All around the globe we see examples of gender inequality, but they can be particularly glaring in that part of the world.  Older women frequently have no pensions, few -- if any -- property rights, and very limited access to affordable medicines for chronic diseases that affect us all as we age. Younger women and girls often find that medicines to treat HIV/AIDS are unavailable to them, even though they are the demographic with the highest percentage of new infections.  Personal safety and access to education are significant challenges for African women of all ages.  Let’s remember why we advocate on their behalf! 

For Signing the Safe Schools Declaration

This February Canada became the 59th country to sign on to the Safe Schools Declaration, an international political commitment to protect students, teachers, and schools from attack in times of armed conflict.  By endorsing the declaration, Canada sends a strong message on the urgency to act together to protect schools from attack and military use and to defend children's access to education.

Read more on Canada's policy here

Canada plays a very active and important role in the work of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).  Julia Gillard, Board Chair of the GPE, reflects on her recent visit to Canada in February in this informative blog.  :

 

AIDS claimed around 36 million lives between 1981 and 2016, and a similar number around the world currently live with the HIV virus. There is now scientific evidence showing that HIV-positive individuals receiving antiretroviral (ARV) treatment suppress the HIV virus in their bloodstreams so dramatically that they are very unlikely to transmit the virus to others. This discovery has led to the 90-90-90 set of goals and although not without its challenges, there is agreement that the 90-90-90 targets are attainable making the end of AIDS within reach. e click here: 

 

GRAN Co-Chair, Hillary Elliot, joined with other Canadian CSO representatives in Ottawa this past Wednesday to meet with Julia Gillard, Chair of the Global Partnership for Education.  Julia was in Ottawa to raise awareness of the critical importance of education in development.   to read Julia Gillard’s OpEd in the Ottawa Citizen on how Canada can help boost girls' education globally. 

It has been an exceptional year for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). The GPE welcomed four new partner countries, funded US$4.6 billion in grants to over 50 countries, trained over 240,000 teachers, distributed 30 million textbooks, built 3,000 classrooms and joined forces with new global ambassador, Rihana. 

To see more of GPE’s accomplishments and their year in review .

 

Please enjoy this article from Doctors Without Borders website, acknowledging GRAN's help with their afairshot.org campaign.

Happy New Year ...

 

Great News! Millions more children in sub Saharan Africa will soon be able to go to school.

The Board of Directors of the Global Partnership for Education approved US$90.6 million to improve the education of millions of children and youth in Ethiopia and Zimbabwe to strengthen their countries’ education systems, to improve equity and to increase access to quality education.  These grants will help children who live in difficult environments to go to school, stay in school and learn with quality teachers.

Read more at

 

 

This week UNAIDS, for the first time, will hold a thematic session on HIV/AIDS and aging. The background document contains the latest information and has a special section on AIDS and older women. You can , but the highlights are on pages 4 and 5. 

It is time to address ageism and gender inequality within the HIV response and  consult directly with older women living with HIV to understand their needs concerns, values and perspectives.

 

 

 

Recently, a few GRANs attended a workshop on “Evaluating Advocacy” put on by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network.  One of the learnings from the workshop was that doing advocacy frequently involves shifting strategies and multiple actors, thus making evaluation difficult.  To make a plausible case for the effectiveness of advocacy, it is important to gather supporting evidence as the work unfolds.  An example of evidence of our effectiveness occurred in the House last week when MP Anita Vandenbeld, speaking in memory of the survivors and victims of the Ecole Polytechnique killings, concluded by applauding the Grandmothers Advocacy Network.  Capturing informal and formal comments such as this one are an important testament to our growing influence. 

 

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