International Women's Day -- March 8 -- is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for gender equality.
In two separate reports issued this week by UN Women and Equal Measures 2030 we learn that the work to advance gender equality is far from finished.
The UN Women report shares six cross-cutting areas where governments and stakeholders should focus efforts to realize gender equality and the health and rights of girls and women:
- Inclusive economies and decent work
- Poverty eradication and wellbeing, including strengthening women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights
- Freedom from violence, stigma, and stereotypes
- Participation, accountability, and institutions
- Peaceful and inclusive societies
- Climate action and environmental sustainability
“These reports add to the mounting evidence that a more gender-equal world is possible if we invest in girls and women. Decision-makers should seize this new evidence and the current spotlight to make bigger, bolder commitments and take strong action towards advancing gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights. Not in another 25 years, but now,” says Katja Iversen, President and CEO of Women Deliver.
Click here to read key findings and to access the full text of both reports.
In a historic decision on Friday, February 28, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that a human rights lawsuit against Vancouver-based mining company Nevsun Resources Ltd. can be heard in British Columbia, even though the alleged human rights abuses occurred in Eritrea. This decision is important because it clarifies that Canadian companies can be held accountable in Canada when implicated in human rights violations overseas, something GRAN and other civil society organizations have been advocating.
You can read more about this landmark ruling here.
An enthusiastic group of GRAN volunteers is busy finalizing plans for GRAN’s upcoming national gathering, Hello Friends 2020. This year we will be gathering in Toronto at Ryerson University from June 8 - June 10. Those who have attended this bi-annual gathering in the past know that it provides a rich opportunity for friendship, learning, and reigniting our shared passion for justice. We always come away inspired, strengthened, and energized. This is a terrific opportunity for those new to GRAN to dive in and learn a lot quickly, and for long-timers to renew ties with GRANs from other regions and to learn new things too! Hello Friends is by far our most valued GRAN event for providing face-to-face connection to share and explore new ideas together and to offer input into GRAN’s vision and priorities going forward.
Program details will be coming soon. In the meantime, save GRAN a spot on your June calendar and please do consider joining us!
During the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, the Nobel Women’s Initiative is highlighting the lives of courageous human rights defenders. Click here to meet Gladys Arthur from Liberia and hear her tell her story in her own words.
This year to mark December 1, World AIDS Day, the World Health Organization is highlighting the difference communities are making to end the HIV epidemic. Among their key messages, they stress the importance of community and civil society engagement, acknowledging that activism and civil society action have been key resources in the HIV response from the early days, inspiring the global health community to galvanize efforts for increased equity, respect for health and human rights, and scientific innovation.
To raise public awareness on World AIDS Day, the World Health Organization has prepared a wealth of clear and informative HIV/AIDS facts and figures, as well as specific policy recommendations. There is plenty to learn about the current successes and ongoing challenges in the global response to HIV/AIDS. Take some time on this World AIDS Day to learn more by clicking here.
Education Cannot Wait (ECW) and United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) recently announced they are teaming up to reach vulnerable children and youth caught in crisis-affected countries. Together, the two programs are stronger and more able to meet the needs of the most vulnerable. For some children, the only food they eat all day will be a meal at school.
Read more here.
Under the umbrella of UN Women’s Generation Equality Campaign that marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, for the next two years the focus of the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign will be on rape as a specific form of harm.
The campaign will mark the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence from 25 November to 10 December under the theme: Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands against Rape! UN Women are inviting civil society to join them in galvanizing actions around the world to take a stand against sexual violence in all contexts and to spark a global conversation about what it will take to prevent and end rape. Read more here.
If you are planning Orange Campaign activities in your community, UN Women advise that their advocacy tool kit for 2019 will only be available one week before November 25. While we realize that this is too late for most, we hope you will be able to adapt the current resources on the GRAN website to this year’s theme.
Please send your photos, posters and events to Janet Siddall at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can amplify your message on our Facebook page and website.
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer announced on October 1st that, if elected, he would cut Canada's International Assistance spending by 25%, a move that is unprecedented and would have serious consequences for those living in poverty around the world. GRAN has been advocating for increases to international assistance during this election, not cuts. Right now, we are close to the lowest level of funding for international assistance in our country’s history (0.28% of our Gross National Income). Civil society groups were taken by surprise by this announcement and are working together to respond. Read more here about the Conservative leader's announcement.
The UN has designated October 1st as the International Day of Older Persons. This year’s theme is “The Journey to Age Equality” with a focus on ways to cope with existing inequalities and to prevent future old age inequality. Around the world, events are being planned to draw attention to the rights of older persons. To find out more please click here.
Regarding an international convention on the Rights of Older Persons
GRAN has recently convened a Watch Group for the purpose of keeping track of developments at the United Nations and around the world on the issue of a Convention on the Rights of Older Persons and keeping GRAN informed when there are opportunities for advocacy action.
The Convention’s purpose would be to provide an instrument to protect the rights of people in their old age. To learn more about this and to find out 10 reasons why we need this Convention, click here.
Advocacy GRAN Style: The Grandmothers Advocacy Network
We are proud and excited to introduce you to a wonderful new video that showcases the amazing women and the meaningful work of GRAN. We hope you will find inspiration in our shared stories as we continue to advocate for the rights of grandmothers, children and youth of sub- Saharan Africa.
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words - so please click here to watch and share - this is who we are!
Janet and Jenny
Co Chairs GRAN