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.
December 1, 2018 marks the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day. In 30 years the world has made considerable progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS, but the epidemic is not over. What more is to be done?
According to Dr. Naoko Yamamoto, Assistant Director-General for Universal Health Coverage and Health Systems with the WHO,
“The future of the HIV response will require looking beyond HIV care provision and ensuring that the disease response is embedded in universal health coverage. Ending AIDS is unlikely to ever happen without integrated health systems that provide HIV prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, as well as care, with other essential health services and support to other co-morbidities such as TB, non-communicable diseases, and mental health at the community level. A people-centred, human rights based and holistic approach is crucial.”
For a thorough and informative walk through the developments in the global HIV/AIDS response over the past 30 years and a vision for the next 12 (taking us to 2030), please click here to read the World Health Organization's online article: "Why the HIV epidemic is not over".
On November 25 the world marks International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. And with it, we enter into the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, culminating on International Human Rights Day on December 10. GRANs across the country are “Oranging” their communities to help raise awareness.
"This year’s United Nations theme for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is “Orange the World: #HearMeToo”. It aims to honour and further amplify voices, whether a housewife at home, a schoolgirl abused by her teacher, an office secretary, a sportswoman, or a boy who is an intern in a business, bringing them together across locations and sectors in a global movement of solidarity. It is a call to listen to and believe survivors, to end the culture of silencing and to put the survivors at the centre of the response. The focus must change from questioning the credibility of the victim, to pursuing the accountability of the perpetrator." -- Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women
You can read (or watch) Phumizile Mlambo-Ngcuka’s full message by clicking here.
#HearMeToo brings to the forefront the voices of women and girls who have survived violence, who are defending women’s rights every day, and who are taking action — many of them very far away from the limelight or media headlines. Their voices and stories need to be heard too. Click here to read moving personal #HearMeToo stories from Africa.
Consider sharing this post with others via social media using #HearMeToo and #orangetheworld! UN Women has come up with a “Twibbon” that allows you to show support by “Oranging” your profile picture on Facebook and Twitter. Click here if you’d like to “Orange” yourself over the next 16 Days!
GRAN advocates in Kawartha Lakes, ON are proud to be living in a region which is taking its place alongside other locales worldwide to “Orange the World” and galvanize action to end violence against women and girls both at home and around the world.
Read here how GRANs in the City of Kawartha Lakes will be lighting up their community with "Orange" awareness during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.
Zimbabwe’s grandmothers are providing mental health support in their communities through a remarkable program called “The Friendship Bench”. Since 2006, over 400 Zimbabwean grandmothers have been trained in talk therapy, which they deliver for free in more than 70 communities across Zimbabwe.
Grandmother Chinhoyi, who has been with the Friendship Bench program for over ten years, helps others on an almost daily basis. She regularly meets with HIV-positive individuals, drug addicts, people suffering from poverty and hunger, unhappy married couples, lonely older people, and pregnant unmarried young women. Regardless of their background or circumstances, she begins her sessions the same way: “I introduce myself and I say, ‘What is your problem? Tell me everything, and let me help you with my words."
You can read more about the work of Zimbabwe’s counsellor-grandmothers and how this remarkable program began by clicking here.