Special Granny Bulletin: International Women’s Day 2020

Welcome to the Granny Bulletin, your source for news, stories and information about exciting initiatives from the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

International Women’s Day:
Individual acts and collective impact

Dear Grandmothers and Grandothers,

Today, around the globe, International Women’s Day is celebrated with the theme, Each for Equal! It’s based on the notion that each of us can play a part in creating a more gender-equal world, which as a member of our Grandmothers Campaign and Stephen Lewis Foundation community, you already do.

Your individual acts of solidarity help support the collective impact of our community-based partners in sub-Saharan Africa. Year round, these acts of “solidarity, not charity” are part of the global response to HIV and AIDS, and they are in direct defiance of a pandemic driven by gender inequality.

In a recent report by Funders Concerned About AIDS, the Stephen Lewis Foundation is the only Canadian organization named as a Top 20 philanthropic funder for HIV and AIDS, in the world. Yet, last year, overall global funding for the response to HIV and AIDS declined by a billion dollars, and projections for 2021 are similar. These cuts have intolerable, unacceptable, life-threatening consequences. And this at a time when there’s greatest global consensus about what it will take to turn the tide of HIV and AIDS: holistic, community-driven responses, rooted in gender equality and social justice, like those of our community-based partners. Communities are the experts on what they need, and what will defeat the pandemic.

Thank you for your ongoing solidarity.

With affection and admiration,

Sarah, Megan, Ruth-Anne, and Winnie

“In the past, if a woman wanted to speak at a village meeting, she would have to kneel. With home-based care education and MWEDO’s empowerment programmes, this expectation shifted. In the past, village assemblies were attended only by men, but now, women are included on the agenda and participate in meetings. Women are increasingly being invited and participating in forums as equals. This growing visibility and confidence, along with access to income through MWEDO’s income-generation groups, is encouraging women to take up other rights, such as owning land.” – Maasai Women’s Development Organization, Tanzania

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