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Graça Machel to Deliver International Human Rights Lecture of The Mary Robinson Centre

Posted in Connect on October 29, 2015.


Empowering Women in Today’s World

Graça Machel to Deliver the Second Annual International Human Rights Lecture of The Mary Robinson Centre

One of the world’s leading women’s rights activists will visit Ballina next month, when Graça Machel delivers The Mary Robinson Centre’s second Annual International Human Rights Lecture on November 28th.

Graça Machel 2Graça Machel is a leading advocate for women, children and communities affected by conflict and injustice.  Born in rural Portuguese East Africa, she attended university in Lisbon before returning home to be a freedom fighter and schoolteacher. Following Mozambique’s independence, Machel became Mozambique’s first Minster for Education and Culture in 1975 and has dedicated her life to the advancement of women and girls through education, health care, peace and security.  Within two years of her term as Minister, Machel had boosted school attendance and lowered illiteracy.  As founder of the Graça Machel Trust she continues to work across the continent of Africa, supporting women’s movements, influencing government policies and advocating for the protection of children’s rights and dignity at an international level.

As the wife of the late Nelson Mandela, Machel is one of the founding members of The Elders, and has been particularly involved in the Girls Not Brides campaign to end child marriage.

Machel’s guest lecture at The Mary Robinson Centre will address equality and justice for all in our society, looking at issues in today’s world that adversely affect women and children, including climate change, political and social unrest and the current migrant crisis.  The lecture will be followed by a discussion between Graça Machel and Mary Robinson, facilitated by journalist Olivia O’Leary.

Desmond Tutu, Graa Machel and Mary Robinson at EHHR launch

All photos courtesy of The Elders

 Speaking about the International Human Rights Lecture, former President Mary Robinson said “As we mark the 70th year of the United Nations and the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Beijing Declaration, which was an agenda for women’s empowerment, it is fitting to have one of the leading advocates for gender equality deliver the International Human Rights Lecture at The Mary Robinson Centre. Women’s rights are human rights and Graça Machel has dedicated both her career and personal life to ensuring that women and girls globally, but particularly in her home continent of Africa, can realise their rights.”

The Second Annual International Human Rights Lecture of The Mary Robinson Centre takes place at 3pm on Saturday, 28th November at St Muredach’s Cathedral, Ballina, Co. Mayo. The Mary Robinson Centre is Ireland’s first Presidential Library and will include a museum, archive, research and educational facility and events venue. In addition to sharing the lifetime achievements of Ireland’s first female President, The Mary Robinson Centre will use Mary Robinson’s legacy to inspire and foster personal leadership in the service of promoting human rights, gender equality, women’s leadership and climate justice in partnership with Mayo County Council and the National University of Ireland Galway, an ethos which makes Graça Machel’s lecture on human rights and empowering women in today’s world, a perfect fit for The Mary Robinsone Centre

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