'Africa cannot survive without us': African grandmothers launch campaign for rights and resources.
|Article Type:||Conference notes|
(Conferences, meetings and seminars)
Grandmothers (Social aspects)
Africans (Social aspects)
Africans (Conferences, meetings and seminars)
|Publication:||Name: Sister Namibia Publisher: Sister Namibia Audience: Academic; General Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Social sciences; Women's issues/gender studies Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 Sister Namibia ISSN: 1026-9126|
|Issue:||Date: June, 2010 Source Volume: 22 Source Issue: 2|
|Topic:||Event Code: 250 Financial management; 290 Public affairs Computer Subject: Company financing|
|Geographic:||Geographic Scope: Swaziland Geographic Code: 6SWAZ Swaziland|
African grandmothers have called for financial security, respect
for their rights and increased resources to raise grandchildren orphaned
by AIDS, following a historic gathering in Manzini, Swaziland.
Describing themselves as the backbones of their communities, the women
declared, 'Africa cannot survive without us.' Across
sub-Saharan Africa, grandmothers now form the core of family and
community-based care, raising a generation of children orphaned by AIDS.
At the close of the historic first African Grandmothers' Gathering, 500 grandmothers from 13 countries issued a clarion call to the world, demanding economic independence, and the necessary resources to build their own capacity to raise healthy families in the midst of the AIDS pandemic. The gathering was organised and hosted by Swaziland Positive Living (SWAPOL).
The grandmothers gathered in Manzini from May 6-8 to share their experience as 'parents' of orphaned grandchildren, as caregivers and as activists, and to articulate their priorities for action. They discussed care for HIV-positive grandchildren, food security and micro-credit financing as well as social security, violence and inheritance rights.
The serious tenor of the daytime working sessions was countered each evening by dancing and singing, which filled the great hall where the women gathered. At the event's opening ceremony, the Queen Mother of Swaziland, who presided over the evening, defied the concerns of her security contingent as she spontaneously joined in the dancing with the hundreds of gathered grandmothers.
The Manzini Statement--the document which issued the call for action emerging from the gathering--was read at the completion of a march of more than 1,000 grandmothers through the streets of the city.
Organised and hosted by Swaziland Positive Living (SWAPOL), one of the continent's leading AIDS advocacy and support organisations, the event's weighty discussions, joyous celebration and bold outcome statement reflected the momentum and strength of the international grandmothers' movement just four years after it began on the eve of the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto in August of 2006.
'We have demonstrated that grandmothers and their grandchildren are no longer invisible,' said Siphiwe Hlope, executive director of SWAPOL. 'As we return to our own countries, we need to use the strength of our collective voice to call upon governments in all of Africa to change their policies and uphold our rights which are currently being violated in so many ways.' She promised the assembled women that she would carry their messages to the XVIII International AIDS Conference in Vienna in July of this year where she will be speaking.
by Kari Sackney, Pambazuka News, 13 May 2010
|Gale Copyright:||Copyright 2010 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.|