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This week we celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child. We reflect on how far we have come and bring awareness to all of the challenges that still remain to fully achieve gender equality. Without gender equality, our goal of having a world of inclusive, peaceful and prosperous communities will not be realized. Gender inequality is deep-rooted in our societies.  Education is an important foundation for addressing obstacles such as: gender violence, early marriage, teenage pregnancy, poverty, lack of access to clean water and sanitation and lack of proper nutrition to reach SDG#5.  Read more:

Around the world, schools are attacked or being occupied by military forces in conflict zones.  This is having a devastating effect on children endangering their lives, their teachers’ lives and denying hundreds of thousands of children their right to education.

Canada needs to sign the Safe Schools Declaration, a political commitment to protect education during armed conflict.  56 countries have signed, Canada needs to be the 57th

Read more at

In a recent blog post for the Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development (ICAD), Peggy Edwards of GRAN has called for older women to be counted and supported in the fight against HIV/AIDS.  "It is time to include older women/grandmothers as a key population in national, international, and global plans to fight and end HIV/AIDS.

Read the full text of Peggy's call to action and inclusion .

It Takes a Movement: Reflecting on Five Years of Progress Towards Ending Child Marriage.

To mark the five-year anniversary of Girls Not Brides, the organization is launching its first progress report: “”.

The report covers several areas of progress, including child marriage trends, global and regional commitments, strengthening legal and policy frameworks, building a movement, creating an understanding of what needs to be done, and funding for the field. It ends with a seven-point list of recommendations to build on the progress made thus far and make a difference in the lives of millions of girls everywhere.

GRAN has been a member of Girls Not Brides since 2014, actively participating in raising awareness and mobilizing action through media, social media, global campaigns and speaker series.  We meet and correspond with Canadian Members of Parliament, Cabinet Ministers, Parliamentary Committees and other leaders who can influence this issue nationally and globally. 

With the U.S. pushing for ratification of the TPP before the end of President Obama’s term, ISDS has become a major obstacle to TPP ratification, according to some. ISDS (Investor-State Dispute Settlement) is a legal right outlined in the TPP for those who invest in a foreign country.  Under this system, a corporation that invests in a foreign country can appeal to an international arbitration panel if that country enacts a law or regulation that, in the view of the investor, could jeopardize their expected future profits.

As indicated in GRAN's to Ministers Freeland and Philpott, ISDS is a major area of concern to GRAN. A recent article in The Huffington Post discusses concerns with ISDS and includes hyperlinks to a Huffington Post investigation and a four-part series at BuzzFeed.  Read more

MSF welcomes GSK's decision to lower the price of the pneumonia vaccine for some of the world's most vulnerable children.

On September 20th, 2016 Médecins Sans Frontiéres/Doctors without Borders (MSF) welcomed the decision by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to lower its price of its pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) for humanitarian organizations that serve refugee and crisis-affected children.

Read on for the entire announcement .

GRAN Co-chairs have sent an Open Letter to Minister Freeland (International Trade) and Minister Philpott (Health) regarding the TPP.  The letter has been published in the Hill Times and was also signed by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, the Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development and the Canadian Nurses Association.  You can read the letter .

The 5th Replenishment Conference for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria wrapped up in Montreal this afternoon pretty much on target for its $13 Billion goal.  You can read a statement from the Global Fund

And if you want to read even more, you can see the Press Release from Canadian Civil Society Organizations by

 

Another in the blog series from Huffington Post and the Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development (ICAD) leading up to the Replenishment Conference September 16 and 17,  read the poignant story which makes the strong case for fully funding the Global Fund. 

GRAN has been supporting the Global Fund for many years by encouraging our government to do its fair share in pledging to the Fund.  We are so pleased that Canada is hosting the Global Fund’s 5th Replenishment Conference in Montreal on September 16 and17 and that this government has increased its pledge by 20% over what was pledged three years ago.

Read a blog post by the Minister of International Development, the Honorable Marie-Claude Bibeau.

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