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Guru Purnima- Part-1

Saturday, 09 December 2017 13:39 Written by

16-07-2016

GURU PURNIMA- PART-1By;Yogi Aswini,Posted ;Orissabarta

You are a poorna ansh of creation. That which is poorna, from which everything emerged and goes back to, that is you. Tied to the limited buddhi and the limitations of the five senses, you identify yourself as apoorna, incomplete.

Lifetime after lifetime is spent in pursuit of the incomplete...till a being finds his Guru.


A Guru is someone who does not charge you a fee because someone who is him/herself tied in maya cannot release you, he/she exudes the glow and attraction associated with yog, diseases disappear in his/her presence, whatever he/she says happens, and his chants result in divine manifestations and experiences, a phenomenon experienced daily at Dhyan Ashram.

The Guru one by one removes the veils of maya and avidya, helping a being realise his/her true potential, the realisation of which is anand or pure bliss. Before that one tends to look for happiness in the temporary, that which is destructible and certain to leave you, that which when leaves causes immense pain because you take it to be all that is there, unaware of what lies beyond.

Finding a Guru maybe likened to finding a boatman as you are stuck in rough waters. The boatman does not smoothen the rough waters, but puts you on the boat that takes you across the ocean…That is, a Guru does not promise to rid you of your problems, he shows you the path to positive karma and then liberation from the cycle of the pain of birth and death. Your problems are a result of your karma and only your karma shall rid you of them.

Making a Guru is a sadhna, which calls for 100% focus, faith and devotion. There are only a few who can ride the boat, because there are only as many who desire the final reality. The night of Guru Purnima is of special significane to a shishya. Yagya and mantra sadhna performed on this night under the sanidhya of Guru, bestows with boons equivalent to many years of sadhna put together, in just one night.

Guru Purnima is on July 19th. To become a part of Guru Purnima Celebrations at Dhyan Ashram with Yogi Ashwini ji,

Odisha’s land degrading at a rate of more than1,95,000 hectare per year(!)

Saturday, 09 December 2017 13:36 Written by

22-04-2016

Odisha’s land degrading at a rate of more than1,95,000 hectare per year(!)Report;Bureau,Orissabarta

Almost 30 per cent of state’s land in degraded conditions.

Desertification process getting faster than WIO predicted in 2006.

Combined factors of increased barren land, diversion of forest and agricultural lands are leading to severe land erosion and water crisis.

Odisha must adopt green ways of development without any further delay.

SAMBALPUR, 21 April 2016 – In 2006, Odisha’s leading water and environment watchdog Water Inititaives Odisha (WIO) had warned that many parts of Odisha are already showing symptoms of desertification. The state is ‘developing’ from a drought prone to desert prone region. Desertification is a process of productivity loss of lands. When severe, it leads to permanent damages to land.

By analysing government statistics, WIO had said in 2006 that “In just 13years, severely degraded land in the state had increased by 136 percent, barren land had increased by 69 percent and land converted to non-agricultural uses had increased by 34 percent. In 1991-92, about 10percent of total geographical area of the state was unfit for agriculture, forest and tree cover excluded. In 2004-05, such spread increased to nearly 17.5 percent of total area of the state,” informed Ranjan Panda, Convenor of WIO. “Based on the rate of degradation we had then predicted that Odisha would go totally barren in about 150 years,” said Panda further.


“As the state is facing worst ever heat and water crisis, we wanted to add up to our 2006 analysis and do some more calculations based on government statistics. We are shocked to find that the state will turn barren even much faster, if urgent measures are not taken to arrest desertification,” warned Panda in a press release issued on occasion of Earth Day 2016 falling on 22nd April.

“Between 2005 and 2015, in ten years time, the barren and fallow land of the state have increased further by almost 50000 hectares to reach at 1753000 hectares.

Adding the ‘culturable wastelands,’ that is at 375000 hectares, the degraded land of the state reaches to about 22 per cent of total georgraphical area. Then, the state has lost about 5 per cent forests in forest lands and 1 per cent tree cover in plantation areas during the last decade. This adds up the land degradation rate to 28 per cent of total geographical area.


“During this decade, agricultural land given away for other purposes has increased by a whooping 299000 hectares. We have every reason to believe that all this agricultural land has gone to developmental activities that does not contribute to ecological restoration, and hence have added to heat woes either by degrading water resources or increasing concrete cover,” said Panda.


If we add the agricultural land taken away for other purposes, that also cause degradation of fertile lands, another about 1.92 per cent of land stand degraded, the total degraded land of the state adds up to almost 30 per cent of its geographical area. That means, during the last ten years, the state degraded at least 195000 hectares of its land per year on an average.


In this decade, the net sown area of the state has shrunk by as high as 243000 hectares indicating the reduction of water resources and increased eisodes of drought.


The state’s temperature is on an upward trend. Land degradation increases the devastating impacts of increased warming. It reduces the water retention capacity of the soil, making both surface water and ground water more scarce; and makes the land further vulnerable to erosion during rains and floods. All these factors increase the pace of desertificatio
 

“This Earth Day, the state of Odisha must decide to mend its ways and drastically redisign development programmes that put emphasis on conservation of forests; rejuvination of rivers and water bodies; reduction of coal fired power plants; increase in alternative energy sources; and promotion of land,” urged Panda.

Phenomenal Power Of Yog

Saturday, 09 December 2017 13:29 Written by


09-07-2016

PHENOMENAL POWER OF YOGBy: Yogi Ashwini,Posted;orissabarta.com

When we read the ancient vedic texts like puranas etc, we come across human beings with supernatural abilities, exuding phenomenal strength. We hear of women with amazing beauty and radiance, which used to even attract gods. When we compare these beings with today’s people, they seem like unbelievable stories and myths. Hence, the term mythology…

I really don’t blame the people for calling all this mythology, as it is not possible for a normal mind that exists in the present day and age to believe such facts to be true. If we logically think and observe our grandfathers, we would notice that their bodies were stronger and much more healthier than ours. Our grandmothers had beautiful skins even till the late years, that too without recourse to artificial aids and beauty treatments. Modern science now tells us that the human brain and bodies have shrunk over time. So if we just project ourselves backwards, we would observe that the mythologies were realities and if we project ourselves forward the image that will come would be scary.


What is the reason? Being a student of yog, having studied for nearly two decades, I am convinced that the answer lies here.


From satyug to the present day kaliyug we have progressively moved away from reality towards unreality and from light towards darkness. Let us take the help of Patanjali Ashtang Yog to understand the process. Ashtang Yog was conceived 5000 years back - the time when, according to modern historians, the world was primitive and men lived in caves as hunters and food gatherers, men who had descended from apes. At that time Patanali gave us the eight limbs of yog as yama, niyam, asan, pranayam, pratyahaar, dharna, dhyan and samadhi.

Without going into the details, let us just look at the five yamas. 5000 years back, when the world was supposedly inhabited by barbarians, Patanjali understood the power of truthfulness and non-violence and the hazards of stealth, hoarding and excessive sexual indulgence. And mind you, this is only one-eighth of Ashtang yog…Obviously, the secret to health, beauty and glow lies herein.


Patanjali emphasizes upon truthfulness or satya as the first yama. The one who speaks the truth under all circumstances has nothing to fear. It is fear that breeds negative emotions like anger, jealousy, insecurity, etc. In the absence of fear, there is no negative emotion. The body is perpetually in positive prana and the food is digested properly. This translates as a glowing complexion and radiant skin for the one who follows the yama of satya. In fact, the first siddhi of yog, vak shakti (that is, whatever you speak manifests) comes with speaking the truth.

Odisha’s land degrading at a rate of more than1,95,000 hectare per year(!)

Saturday, 09 December 2017 13:26 Written by

22-04-2016

Odisha’s land degrading at a rate of more than1,95,000 hectare per year(!)Report;Bureau,Orissabarta

Almost 30 per cent of state’s land in degraded conditions.

Desertification process getting faster than WIO predicted in 2006.

Combined factors of increased barren land, diversion of forest and agricultural lands are leading to severe land erosion and water crisis.

Odisha must adopt green ways of development without any further delay.

SAMBALPUR, 21 April 2016 – In 2006, Odisha’s leading water and environment watchdog Water Inititaives Odisha (WIO) had warned that many parts of Odisha are already showing symptoms of desertification. The state is ‘developing’ from a drought prone to desert prone region. Desertification is a process of productivity loss of lands. When severe, it leads to permanent damages to land.

By analysing government statistics, WIO had said in 2006 that “In just 13years, severely degraded land in the state had increased by 136 percent, barren land had increased by 69 percent and land converted to non-agricultural uses had increased by 34 percent. In 1991-92, about 10percent of total geographical area of the state was unfit for agriculture, forest and tree cover excluded. In 2004-05, such spread increased to nearly 17.5 percent of total area of the state,” informed Ranjan Panda, Convenor of WIO. “Based on the rate of degradation we had then predicted that Odisha would go totally barren in about 150 years,” said Panda further.

“As the state is facing worst ever heat and water crisis, we wanted to add up to our 2006 analysis and do some more calculations based on government statistics. We are shocked to find that the state will turn barren even much faster, if urgent measures are not taken to arrest desertification,” warned Panda in a press release issued on occasion of Earth Day 2016 falling on 22nd April.

“Between 2005 and 2015, in ten years time, the barren and fallow land of the state have increased further by almost 50000 hectares to reach at 1753000 hectares.

Adding the ‘culturable wastelands,’ that is at 375000 hectares, the degraded land of the state reaches to about 22 per cent of total georgraphical area. Then, the state has lost about 5 per cent forests in forest lands and 1 per cent tree cover in plantation areas during the last decade. This adds up the land degradation rate to 28 per cent of total geographical area.

“During this decade, agricultural land given away for other purposes has increased by a whooping 299000 hectares. We have every reason to believe that all this agricultural land has gone to developmental activities that does not contribute to ecological restoration, and hence have added to heat woes either by degrading water resources or increasing concrete cover,” said Panda.

If we add the agricultural land taken away for other purposes, that also cause degradation of fertile lands, another about 1.92 per cent of land stand degraded, the total degraded land of the state adds up to almost 30 per cent of its geographical area. That means, during the last ten years, the state degraded at least 195000 hectares of its land per year on an average.

In this decade, the net sown area of the state has shrunk by as high as 243000 hectares indicating the reduction of water resources and increased eisodes of drought.


The state’s temperature is on an upward trend. Land degradation increases the devastating impacts of increased warming. It reduces the water retention capacity of the soil, making both surface water and ground water more scarce; and makes the land further vulnerable to erosion during rains and floods. All these factors increase the pace of desertification.


“This Earth Day, the state of Odisha must decide to mend its ways and drastically redisign development programmes that put emphasis on conservation of forests; rejuvination of rivers and water bodies; reduction of coal fired power plants; increase in alternative energy sources; and promotion of land,” urged Panda.

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Ama Jungle Yoyana-Undermining The Panchayat Raj System

Saturday, 09 December 2017 13:22 Written by


24-04-2016

AMA JUNGLE YOYANA-UNDERMINING THE PANCHAYAT RAJ SYSTEMBy;Sandeep Pattnaik,National Center For Advocacy Studies

Posted by;Orissabarta.com

India is celebrating Panchayat Raj today. It has been 24 years since Panchayats and Municipalities were given constitutional status through 73rd and 74th amendments. Today we have 32 lakh representatives including 12 lakh women who have been democratically elected from among 2.5 lakh panchayats. People’s association with and expectation from these bodies are increasing day by day.

The day signifies that people will actively participate in the local- governance process and be empowered to determine their future. It envisions a decentralised form of Governance where each village will be responsible for its own affairs and the bureaucratic intervention would be minimal.

As per the constitutional amendment of 1992, the respective state governments have announced to decentralise power to the Panchayats. The government of Odisha too declared its intention to strengthen PRIs as institutions of self-government. In the year 2003, 21 subjects of 11 departments have been supposedly devolved to the PRIs in the line with 73rd constitutional amendment 1992. In others words Officials of 11 departments should be accountable to PRIs.

After more than a decade of devolution in Odisha, the question is still raised - is there at all even a single subject which is fully being opertionallised by Panchayat Raj Institutions? The 73rd and 74th amendments, no doubt, formally transferred the functions to PRIs and Municipalities, but there have been very little effective devolution in the matter of funds, functions or functionaries.

Rather there are proliferating parallel bodies like Vana Surakshya Samiti (VSS), Village Education Commitee (VEC) and Water Users Association (WUA). These bodies are created by the line departments of the state government as per the guideline of different state and Centrally Sponsored Schemes. Some of the user committees are not even answerable to the Panchayats. The user committees not only created parallel institutional regime but also a parallel legal regime. These bodies are favourites of the line departments for exercising their hegemony over the people at grassroots.

To mark the 20th Anniversary of 73rd amendment, an Expert Committee constituted by Ministry of Panchayat Raj, GoI under the chairmanship of Mr. Mani Shankar Ayer has brought out a report on ‘leveraging PRIs for more efficient delivery of public goods and services’ on 24th April 2013. The report inter alia said, "Panchayat Raj has been seriously suborned by establishing parallel bodies under CSS (centrally sponsored schemes) that are neither embedded in the system nor have organic link to it. The central ministries, which send down substantial funds for implementation of Centrally sponsored schemes, ignore panchayat and municipalities. It leaves very little incentives for state to go ahead with real devolution. In consequence, all responsibility in these bodies is upwards to officers and not downwards to the people in gram and ward sabhas." "Importantly" he also adds, "outlays are not commensurate with outcomes."

The irony is that the recommendations of the expert committee was not accepted either by the Central government nor by any state government. The latest example is the “Ama Jungle Yojana” under the Odisha Forestry Sector Development Project (OSFDP). The Forest and Environment department of Odisha Government has purposed to take up conservation of forests under the AJY over the next years from 2016-17 to 20121-22 at an estimated cost of Rs. 1,170.02 crore. The amount will be sourced from Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Fund.

This will promote Vana Surakhya Samitis (VSSs) operating under Joint Forest Management (JFM) mode. The concept of JFM was created in 1993 through an administrative order of the Government under which the VSSs were supposed to be formed. Various studies have highlighted how the very concept of JFM sabotaged the community governance mechanisms prevalent since long, thereby substituting democratic values by the bureaucratic stranglehold.

This is a classic example to show how an administrative order is contradicting and overriding the provisions of Forest Rights Act (FRA) which was legislated in the Parliament in 2006. The FRA entrusts complete power with the Gram Sabha for planning, management and allocation of community forest resources, which meant that the VSSs were non-entities

The recently launched new scheme such as Ama Jungle Yojana will run through the VSS which will be parallel arrangement usurping the power s of the Gram Sabha that are guaranteed under the 73rd Amendment of the Constitution and Forest Rights Act 2006 as well.

The VSS will take up the issues of community forest resources and functioning of the government scheme and thus it seeks to substitute the Panchayat Bodies. In the name of direct interface between people and forest department the AJY and VSS shall completely nullify the institutional relevance of PRIs. The nodal officials under this new Scheme will be accorded greater importance and play a vital role in decision making processes at grassroots level. On the contrary different studies indicate that the forested landscapes have so long been protected and conserved by the communities by their own systems of protection and management from time immemorial.

Baragadia village of Naranapur Gram Panchayat under the Nilagiri Block of Balasore district and Hariharpur, a small tribal village in Barkort Block of Deogarh District have taken formal resolutions in their respective Gram Sabhas to oppose the AJY offered by the Forest Department, Govt. of Odisha. Villagers are claiming that as per the Section 4(1)(e) of FR Rules, there is no need to form VSS which gives the personnels of Forest Department exclusive control over forest and its resources.

The Union Ministery of Tribal Affairs has cautioned the Odisha Government not to erode the authority of the Gram Sabha while implementing the massive forest regeneration programme- - ‘Ame Jungle Yoyana’. The Odisha government was also earlier given a clear direction on the authority of the Gram sabha under the FRA.

On the eve of Panchayat Raj Day, the Government of Odisha should discourage the establishing of two parallel bodies for planning and management of community forest resources at the level of the Panchayats and respect its earlier stand that Gram Sabha is central to taking any decision on community forest resources (CFR) wherever Forest Right Act 2006 is being implemented.

Older People Join Global Campaign To Raise Awareness Of Growing Prevalence Of Diabetes

Saturday, 09 December 2017 13:19 Written by


07-04-2016

OLDER PEOPLE JOIN GLOBAL CAMPAIGN TO RAISE AWARENESS OF GROWING PREVALENCE OF DIABETESReport;Bureau,Orissabarta

NEW DELHI:On World Health Day (7 April), older campaigners in more than 50 countries will becalling fordiabetes, a leading cause of death,[1]to be tackledearly through screening, testing, treatment and education.

The actions are part of HelpAge International’s Age Demands Action campaign, bringing older people together to draw attention to the challenges they face.

At least nine per cent of the world’s adults have diabeteswith at least 1.5 millionpeople dying as a result of the condition.[2] More than 80 per cent of diabetes deaths occurred in low and middle-income countries.

Type 2 diabetes is predominantly more prevalent in ageing populations.[3]However, the extent to which older people are affected is still unclear.

“Much of the data on diabetes either ignores older people or doesn’t disaggregate by age,” said Toby Porter, chief executive of HelpAge International.

Countries signed up to the UN Sustainable Development Goals last September, committing to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.” The goals include a target on reducing mortality from non-communicable diseases.

“For countries to monitor the progress of these commitments, they need to gather comprehensive data on diabetes and other non-communicable diseases, disaggregated by age and sex,” said Porter.

In Kyrgyzstan, HelpAge International is encouraging older people to collect data and analyse government policies through training.

“I discovered I had diabetes in 2008,” said Semenistova Valentina Filipovna, 71, from Kyrgyzstan.

“I joined an older people’s group and found it very useful tocheck my blood sugar levels every week and learn from the training,” she said.

Early diagnosis is crucial for preventing chronic health problems. “Regular exercise and a healthier diet, low in sugar and salt, can help manage and reduce the symptoms as well as reduce the risk of someone developing diabetes,”said Rachel Albone, health and care policy adviser at HelpAge International.

“It can take a while for symptoms to show and when they do, people are often unaware of the implications or have difficulties accessing healthcare,” she added.

HelpAge is working to strengthen the response to diabetes and other non-communicable diseases through screenings and is training health staff in over 300 townships in Myanmar. It is also working with nutritionists in Jamaica to inform older people abouthealthy eating.

Amongst some of the activities on World Health Day, Age Demands Action campaigners will hand out information on diabetesat a “walk for your health” event in the Gambia,join a flash mob to draw attention to the impact of diabetes in Russia, and take part in a mini-marathon,pledging to stay active in Bangladesh.

Contributed by;Sarah Gillam

Do we need theatre?

Saturday, 09 December 2017 13:13 Written by

26-03-2016

Dr. MrinalChatterjee

Posted by;Orissabarta.com

On the occasion of World Theatre Day, 27 March

World Theatre Day is celebrated annually on the 27th of March across the world. It was in 1961 that International Theatre Institute (ITI), an international non-governmental organization, founded in 1948 by UNESCO celebrated it first. Subsequently other organisations and theatre groups started celebrating the day. Various national and international theatre events are organized to mark the occasion and to draw attention to theatre and international harmony. World theatre Day is celebrated in India too by several theatre groups and cultural organisations.

On the occasion of World Theatre Day, each year ITI invites an outstanding theatre personality or a person outstanding in heart and spirit from another field to share his or her reflections on theatre and international harmony. This message is then translated into more than 20 languages, read for tens of thousands of spectators before performances in theatres throughout the world. It is also printed in hundreds of daily newspapers and broadcast in several radio and television stations across the continents.

The 2016 World Theatre Day Message Author is AnatoliVassiliev, an internationally acclaimed theatre director and professor of Russian Theatre. He is the founder of the Moscow Theatre School of Dramatic Arts. Here is an excerpt of his message:

“Do we need theatre?

That is the question thousands of professionals disappointed in theatre and millions of people who are tired of it are asking themselves.

What do we need it for?

In those years when the scene is so insignificant in comparison with the city squares and state lands, where the authentic tragedies of real life are being played.

What is it to us?

Gold-plated galleries and balconies in the theatre halls, velvet armchairs, dirty stage wings, well-polished actors' voices, - or vice versa, something that might look apparently different: black boxes, stained with mud and blood, with a bunch of rabid naked bodies inside.

What is it able to tell us?

Everything!

Theatre can tell us everything.

How the gods dwell in heaven, and how prisoners languish in forgotten caves underground, and how passion can elevate us, and how love can ruin, and how no-one needs a good person in this world, and how deception reigns, and how people live in apartments, while children wither in refugee camps, and how they all have to return back to the desert, and how day after day we are forced to part with our beloveds, - theatre can tell everything.

The theatre has always been and it will remain forever.

And now, in those last fifty or seventy years, it is particularly necessary. Because if you take a look at all the public arts, you can immediately see that only theatre is giving us - a word from mouth to mouth, a glance from eye to eye, a gesture from hand to hand, and from body to body. It does not need any intermediary to work among human beings - it constitutes the most transparent side of light, it does not belong to either south, or north, or east, or west - oh no, it is the essence of light itself, shining from all four corners of the world, immediately recognizable by any person, whether hostile or friendly towards it.

And we need theatre that always remains different, we need theatre of many different kinds.

 

Still, I think that among all possible forms and shapes of theatre its archaic forms will now prove to be mostly in demand. Theatre of ritual forms should not be artificially opposed to that of “civilized” nations. Secular culture is now being more and more emasculated, so-called "cultural information" gradually replaces and pushes out simple entities, as well as our hope of eventually meeting them one day.

 

But I can see it clearly now: theatre is opening its doors widely. Free admission for all and everybody.

To hell with gadgets and computers - just go to the theatre, occupy whole rows in the stalls and in the galleries, listen to the word and look at living images! - it is theatre in front of you, do not neglect it and do not miss a chance to participate in it - perhaps the most precious chance we share in our vain and hurried lives.

We need every kind of theatre.

There is only one theatre which is surely not needed by anyone - I mean a theatre of political games, a theatre of a political "mousetraps", a theatre of politicians, a futile theatre of politics. What we certainly do not need is a theatre of daily terror - whether individual or collective, what we do not need is the theatre of corpses and blood on the streets and squares, in the capitals or in the provinces, a phony theatre of clashes between religions or ethnic groups...”

On this day I entirely agree with AnatoliVassiliev: we need theatre, all kinds of theatre. As the macabre theatre of terrorism, extremism, economic and cultural imperialism, intolerance, ultra-nationalism and ethnocentricity is sweeping the world, what we need is the sane old school theatre, which connects people, which provides that much needed cathartic effect on us, and which shows us the right path- subtly, very subtly. Yes, we need theatre now more than ever before.

***

Journalist turned media academician Dr.MrinalChatterjee also writes plays for stage and radio.

Protocol On Older People’s Rights Could Protect Millions, Says Helpage International

Saturday, 09 December 2017 13:11 Written by


19-03-2016

PROTOCOL ON OLDER PEOPLE’S RIGHTS COULD PROTECT MILLIONS, SAYS HELPAGE INTERNATIONALBureau,Orissabarta

Embargo and peg: 00.01 hours Monday 21 March 2016 - Human Rights day in South Africa

On the eve of human rights day in South Africa (Monday 21 March), HelpAge International has welcomed the adoption of a protocol on older people’s rights across Africa.

The African Union protocol covers a range of rights including access to health services, freedom from discrimination and the right to employment, social protection and education, providing a framework for governments to protect these rights.

There are 66.5 million people aged 60 and over in Africa, predicted to reach 105 million by 2030[1].

HelpAge International is now urging African Union governments to ratify the protocol this year, which was declared the African Year of Human Rights, with particular focus on the rights of women.

“This is a significant step by our governments with the potential to protect the rights of millions of older men and women and prepare for future changing demographics,” said Dr Prafulla Mishra, Regional Director at HelpAge International, East West and Central Africa.

“We must now work with governments to ensure that the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Older Persons in Africa is ratified. The adoption of the protocol provides us with a powerful advocacy tool to engage at national and regional levels for its implementation,” said Mishra.

Director of Social Affairs Department of the African Union Dr Olawale Maiyegun reiterated the commitment of the Union in advancing the rights of older people. “If implemented well, this protocol will change the lives of older people in Africa and allow them to live with dignity,” he said following the 26th Summit of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

In a 2012 HelpAge International survey of older people in Mozambique, 74 per cent of respondents said they had experienced at least one form of violence and abuse since the age of 50, 22 per cent said their health needs had been neglected, 30 per cent said they had been refused work, while 27 per cent said they had been refused a loan[2].

Older women are particularly affected, facing discrimination due to both their age and sex. Half the women respondents said they’d been subjected to emotional abuse, 18 per cent to physical abuse and 5 per cent to sexual abuse since the age of 50. However, there’s no way to know the full extent of this violence and abuse as data on violence against women in Africa is rarely available beyond the age of 49 and older women themselves are reluctant to talk about or report the violence they experience[3].

“The African Union Heads of State have shown commendable leadership and foresight,” said Toby Porter, Chief Executive of HelpAge International. “It is a commitment that will empower older people to claim their rights and enable them to live dignified lives.”

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