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Back to School, but not for everyone

This week over 5 million Canadian children and youth will head back to school looking forward to another year of learning.  However, GRAN's thoughts are with the 62 million girls who are not only being denied this right but also a chance to make their dreams a reality.  

Please consider signing  Global Citizen's petition, one of our partners in education, to encourage world leaders to commit to getting all girls in school to ensure they have a future with choices, hopes and possibilities.

Signing this petition will let PM Trudeau know that girls' rights are important to us and that education will help achieve both gender equality and the rights of girls and women.

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UN Recommendations on HIV/AIDS

GRAN representative Irene Clarke attended the Civil Society Organization Hearing that led to the UN High Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS in early June.  The result of the meetings was the UN Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS.  Read a discussion of the recommendations that appeared in The Lancet.  The author proposes three critical areas of action, one of which is access to medicines.

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Education Commission Report Coming Soon

The Education Commission is a major global initiative engaging world leaders, policy makers and researchers to develop a compelling investment case and to provide a roadmap to overcome the barriers to lifelong education and learning for all. 

Launched in September of last year, the Education Commission’s findings will be presented to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the 2016 General Assembly in New York on September 18th   who has agreed to act on the recommendations in the report.

The Commission has three clear objectives:

  1. Bring together the best evidence from around the globe about what works to expand and improve learning opportunities.
  2. Agree on an investment case and agenda for action.
  3. Inspire and persuade leaders – at all levels and sectors – to action

Learn more about the important work of the Education Commission at

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Read all about it! GRAN’s ideas for International Assistance

GRAN participated in the recent consultations held by the Government of Canada to formulate a new framework for international assistance. Read GRAN’s submission  which outlines a vision urging a renewed focus on sub-Saharan Africa, including older women in a feminist lens, and upholding the rights of women and girls to health, education and lives free from gender violence. Our themes also include the importance of peace, security and the role women play in achieving sustainable development.  To download the Government’s discussion paper click here.

Education Cannot Wait

Around the world, children in areas of crisis and conflict are often denied access to education.  The world’s newest country, South Sudan, currently has the world’s highest proportion of out-of-school children, 51%.  This percentage is even higher for girls:  a troubling 70% of girls in South Sudan do not attend school.  The Education Cannot Wait Fund is dedicated to changing this.  The Fund works to ensure that children in crisis and conflict areas have access to school and learning. To learn more, view the video ‘School is a Magical Place’ .

For children in conflict areas, education is critical in helping them cope and recover from trauma. Did you know that globally only 2% of humanitarian funding goes towards education?  When you are connecting with your MP in August or September there are great resources on our website to help you make the case that Canada’s humanitarian education funding needs to be increased. 

TPP will keep drug pricing high in Canada

"Today, one in ten Canadians are unable to afford medications as a result of costs — a problem that affects nearly a quarter of Canadian households."

The proposed Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement threatens to bring even higher drug costs. Prescription drugs will be priced out of reach for many, whether at home or abroad.

Read more:

Building Peace Through Education

A Good Reason to Invest in Education

Peacebuilding is a fundamental Canadian value and what we all strive and hope for in our world.  That is why we should be paying some attention to ‘Learning for Peace’, UNICEF’s largest global peacebuilding program.  Initiated in 2012 in partnership with the government of the Netherlands, ‘Learning for Peace’ is an innovative, cross-sectoral initiative to address root causes of conflict and strengthen resilience, social cohesion and human security in 14 conflict-affected countries.  Taking place in schools, Learning for Peace is a unique initiative to bridge education and peacebuilding.  At a special event on June 30, 2016, UNICEF celebrated the achievements of this programme and launched its final piece of research, examining the impact of conflict on education inequality and gender parity. UNICEF’s work to enhance access to safe, quality education, protection and development opportunities for youth offers crucial contributions to peace.

To learn more about the crucial role of education in peacebuilding, read more on the Global Partnership for Education blog:

If you too feel strongly that Canada should invest in education in development for a more peaceful world, let your MP know and send him/her a letter.  A sample letter can be found here:



Sustainable Development Goal #4 focuses on inclusive and equitable quality education for all children, everywhere.  In recent years, education systems around the world have worked hard to get children in school.  This effort has been very successful: in the 1950’s, 5 out of 10 children of primary school age were in primary school.  Currently, the number is 9 out of 10.  But is access to school translating into learning?  Too often, it seems, the answer is no.  Almost 38% of children lack basic reading and math skills. This means that around the world 250 million children lack basic skills, including 130 million who have spent 4 years or more in school.  So how do we ensure that children who are in school are actually receiving a quality education?

Click on the link to watch a brief video and take a look at the detailed Millions Learning document.

Please remember GRAN’s EdWG MP Letter on education funding and the supporting Visit Your MP Script under the Campaign Button and click on Education Resources


The Gambia kicks off its African Union campaign to end child marriage

Smiling teenagers from Banjul, Gambia.  
Photo: Nacho Fradejas Garcia
Gambia’s campaign includes a series of awareness-raising activities on the effects of child marriage.  The activities are geared towards mobilising grassroots support for legislation to address child marriage.  Earlier this month, traditional leaders expressed their support for the campaign and committed to addressing child marriage in their districts, stressing the importance of education for girls.

AIDS 2016 - Are older women forgotten in the fight against HIV?

Worldwide, more than 17 million people are on treatment for HIV infection but about 20 million HIV-infected people are still untreated. An article in the Lancet suggests this issue willl need to be dealt with at the 2016 World AIDS Conference in Durban in July along with the basics of HIV prevention.  The article highlights the urgent need related to young women but fails to mention the invisible need among older women.

The link to the full article is below but in order to read it you must register with the Lancet.  This is straightforward. Go to the top right of the  Lancet page and Register as Guest in the Login with your email and a password. 





Why Canada Should Invest in Education

Mar 11, 2021

Education is fundamental to our ability to build back a better world. The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the disparities that children and young people face in achieving a quality education.  ... Read more