Grandmothers have been central to the response to HIV and AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. Having lost their adult children to the pandemic, grandmothers have developed resilience and strength while raising their orphaned grandchildren. With the support of community-based organizations, grandmothers are gathering to support each other and discuss their work to advance grandmothers’ rights to property, health, and pensions and to live lives free from violence and discrimination while building movements to advocate for their human rights. Over the past 14 years, grandmothers from Canada, Australia, Great Britain, and the United States have come together to learn from grandmothers across sub-Saharan Africa, strategize, and mobilize support and awareness in a growing international grandmothers’ solidarity movement.
In this workshop, grandmothers from Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Canada will share stories, discuss lessons learned, and explain how grandmothers are leading movements to claim their human rights. The workshop will focus on the ways that grandmothers from the African region have been affected by HIV and AIDS, their role in providing holistic support for their communities and each other, the centrality of grandmothers’ human rights to truly ending the AIDS pandemic and rebuilding communities devastated by HIV and AIDS, and the role of the international grandmothers’ solidarity movement in supporting the movements for grandmothers’ human rights in sub-Saharan Africa. Participants in the workshop will be given the opportunity to ask questions, share their experiences, and help to shape the plan to advance grandmothers’ human rights across sub-Saharan Africa.