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Gray Panthers Statement: Open Ended Working Group on Ageing
United Nations, New York - July 2014
The current session of the OEWG, according to its programme of work, is addressing measures to strengthen the promotion and the protection of the rights of older persons which are currently not addressed sufficiently. The OEWG is considering whether older persons have fared badly in terms of protection from human rights violations, in terms of protection from violence and abuse and in terms of care and well-being.
Challenge: Celebrate age, one smile at a time!
Old Age is a wonderful thing, something to be respected and celebrated. With old age comes grace, wisdom and beautiful stories of lives well lived. This campaign aims to redefine age in this youth-crazed world by spreading a little bit of happiness every day!
How to participate? Engage an older person and ask them one simple question: What makes you happy? Send us what they said along with a picture or video to firstname.lastname@example.org.
First, you register for the campaign and then start sharing your pictures via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the public hashtag #happyolderpeople to share your stories.
Helen Hamlin, at the UNITED NATIONS in New York.
Although the Chief Executive Officer of HelpAge International wrote this blog, it is essential to note that Gray Panthers, through the efforts of Jack Kupferman, Frances Zainoeddin, Caroline Bernal Silva and Lobi Redhawk, is one of the core advocacy groups leading the Stakeholder Group of the Ageing Community for the post-2015 Global Development Agenda. The Gray Panthers delegation on this initiative, led by Jack Kupferman, has been a key player at every stage of advocacy. There has been enormous progress. Yet, the end is not in sight.
Our joint goal is to ensure the explicit inclusion of the concerns of older persons in the Sustainable Development Goals, scheduled to begin in 2015. Global discussions and decisions are happening now. When the world came together to establish the first set of global goals (Millennium Development Goals which began in 2000) there was zero mention of older persons. We want to make sure that omission does not happen again.
When Toby Porter speaks of advocacy in New York, he is aware that Gray Panthers works closely with many organizations with greater resources. Gray Panthers leads by arranging and attending visits with diplomats from many nations, by drafting easy to understand language appreciated by the UN and by Member States so that the concerns of older persons might be easily incorporated into the Sustainable Development Goals, by strategizing with the core stakeholder group for the Ageing Community, by establishing personal links for further success, by being visible by speaking up at the innumerable meetings on the post-2015 Development Agenda, by taking advantage of momentary opportunity to persuade, and more.
We have much to be proud of. With hesitancy, we may be able to count accomplishments for the improvement of the quality of life for 800 million older persons and all those who are ageing. There is much more to do. We count on all Gray Panthers, and those of every generation to support these important efforts.
"Gray Panthers in the news. Let this article be a "Call to Action" for us. We can accomplish so much, when we all work together." - Jack Kupferman, Convener.
As Living Standards Fall for Seniors, Some See Signs of ‘Silver Revolution’ - NYT
In 1970, Maggie Kuhn founded the Gray Panthers to combat age discrimination and establish an intergenerational coalition for social justice. Her longtime employer, the United Presbyterian Church, had forced Ms. Kuhn to retire at 65. In 1986, after sustained pressure from the Gray Panthers and other advocates, President Ronald W. Reagan, then 75, joined with the 73-year-old speaker of the House, Thomas P. O’Neill Jr., to abolish the mandatory retirement age. Ms. Kuhn, who traded barbs with Johnny Carson on “The Tonight Show,” became a pop culture figure; at the height of the Gray Panthers’ power in the early 1980s, the organization had roughly 60,000 financial contributors.
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Our groups across the country work on issues from education to ageism, from political integrity to social security. Read more about our issues at www.graypanthers.org