In our May GRAN Update, we heard that the 10th annual session of the Open Ended Working Group (OEWG) on Ageing had taken place at the United Nations (UN) this past April.
The OEWG’s main purpose is to strengthen the protection of the human rights of older people. It has started to seriously consider establishing an international Convention on the Rights of Older Persons.
In many countries around the world, older people are discriminated against on the basis of their age, affecting their human rights including their right to health, to education and lifelong learning, to economic security and to social protection and freedom from violence.
Rights matter, and around the world, elder rights activists like Mateboho Leboho, a grandmother from Lesotho, are starting to claim their rights. To learn more about what motivates Mateboho, click here.
Abusive mining practices have a disproportionately high negative impact on women and girls. To read more from the Hill Times click here
In light of reports of ongoing abuses by Canadian mining companies, GRAN urges the government to give the Canadian Ombudperson for Responsible Enterprise real powers. Click here to read article from Mining Watch Canada.
The 25thAnniversary of the Rwandan genocide was marked earlier this week. While the horrific violence that occurred throughout those 100 days must never be forgotten, the stories of the strength, courage and perseverance of survivors also need to be told. In this powerful and moving article, Marie-Louise, Gloriose and others share their journeys of healing, aided by their own determination, their hopes for their children, and support from the local and international communities.
Is access to lifelong learning crucial to older women in sub-Saharan Africa? This area of human rights will be explored at the 10th Session of the UN Open-ended Working Group on Ageing, April 15-18 in New York. GRAN is very fortunate that Peggy Edwards, our co-founder, will attend, assisting with an event organized by the International Longevity Centre in Ottawa.
One of the themes this year is the importance of Lifelong Learning for women to live meaningful, self-fulfilling lives as full members of society. And older women in sub-Saharan Africa are asking for education in basic literacy, skills training such as agricultural practices, health and the new technologies. Read why education is so critical to grandmothers in HelpAge’s submission to the Conference, ‘Living Not Just Surviving’.
You can also follow this UN conference on the web.
This International Women's Day is an opportunity to celebrate progress that has been made towards gender equality and to learn more about the barriers still facing women around the world.
"A bus to get to work. A clinic for health care. A monthly pension for old age. Some people can take these for granted. But many others suffer from the lack of infrastructure, public services and social protection that affect their rights and well-being. Women and girls are often foremost among those who miss out.
Progress and real development will only be possible if all people have equal rights and opportunities to thrive. Meeting that goal requires recognizing that women and girls face particular barriers and have different needs. And then taking deliberate steps so that no woman or girl is left behind, regardless of where she lives or how much she earns, or where she comes from."
Click here to read more from the UN Women photo essay: "Equality is our goal. Access is our right".
Each year, February 6 marks the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. The day is observed around the world as a way to raise awareness and to motivate action to end this practice.
You can learn 5 important facts about FGM by clicking here.
International Development Week is celebrated every year as a way of recognizing the importance of Canadian aid in making the world a better place. In 2019, it takes place from February 3rd to 9th under the theme "Together for Gender Equality".
This year over 50 international development and humanitarian organizations are participating, under the coordination of the Canadian Council for International Co-operation, with support from Global Affairs Canada. Events such as panel discussions, awards presentations, film screenings, arts festivals, conferences and workshops are being organized all across the country, in communities from Vancouver to St. John’s, and many places in between. You can check out what is happening in your region by visiting the Calendar of Events on the International Development Week website.
This special week provides many great opportunities to learn what Canada and Canadians are doing to make a difference in the world and to celebrate our engagement and commitment to a more just world for all. Don’t miss it!
Have you ever thought of water as a feminist issue?
When women and girls have to spend many hours each day collecting water for their families it is harder for them to go to school or work or to participate fully in their communities. Tanzanian water engineer, Immaculata Raphael, believes that bringing water to rural villages is "100 percent feminist".
Click here to read more about how access to water impacts the daily lives of women in rural Tanzania, and go on a virtual trip to the Geita region by listening to the CBC radio documentary "The Water Carriers" about how access to clean water has "uplifted" women and girls, thanks to a project funded in part by Global Affairs Canada.
For the past 16 days, GRANs across the country have been participating in the worldwide "Orange Campaign," standing in solidarity with women's rights defenders around the world who work tirelessly to bring an end to violence against women. Check out our photo gallery to see many of the ways GRAN members "oranged" their towns and cities to raise awareness and engage their communities.
As this year's Campaign comes to a close, we take the opportunity to honour the work of Aissa Doumara Ngatansou of Cameroon whose own life experiences motivated her to co-found a regional centre to help women and girls affected by gender-based violence. Click here to read Aissa's story.