WOMEN'S NETWORK, EUROPE
Via del Serraglio, 10 - 06073 Corciano - PG - Italy
Tel./Fax: (+39) 075 506 8006
by Elizabeth Sclater,
OWN Europe continues to be contacted by older women, policy makers and professionals through the website. A most recent contact has come from the Redsalud , a network of health professionals from Latin America and the Caribbean. They were putting together a bulletin on older women’s health for their network in celebration of the UN Year of Older Persons. Lewisham has sent information about their health and housing surveys.
We are also in touch with an older women‘s group in the Dominican Republic. An international foundation raised money for a worker and Maria Teresa Marziali and I met Jackie Cheetham before she went out. On her first leave back in the UK Jackie came to see us in Lewisham and we shared our Christmas lunch with her and heard of the work she is doing with older women in the barios , particularly poignant after the terrible destruction of the hurricane.
I had a visit from Churchill scholar Jenny Held from Christchurch, New Zealand, who was researching the development of older women’s networks in Europe and Australia. Jenny works at Christchurch University where many older women are taking up or returning to study. She is exploring the setting up of a network in New Zealand.
OWN Sydney still send me their monthly newsletter which is full of information and inspiration. In the last issue I noticed that OWN, Australia was using the International Year to develop an Australian Older Women‘s Platform for Action. This is what we are hoping our October Conference Report will be.
As I write this (July 2) older women, policy makers and professionals are gathering in Singapore to attend a South East Asian Regional Conference on Older Women’s Health. Irene Hoskins is representing WHO at the meeting and will take greetings from us all. I understand that participants at the conference in Singapore are keen to set up their own Network. Suzanne Paul has been doing excellent work in developing the GOWN, the Global Older Women’s Network and last August GOWN with others organised a meeting in Nashville Tennessee. Many NGOs with international links were present and funding was found to enable Annelies de Vries from the Netherlands to participate and help the meeting to develop a strong resolution about what older women want. They were able to build on this and hold a workshop at the CSW in New York in March 1999. Older women from Africa were well represented.
Finally I have been invited to speak at the annual conference of the Women’s Society for a Better Ageing in Japan. Those of you who were in China will remember the excellent day of presentations, songs and discussions Professor Higuchi and her colleague gave us on the first Sunday in the Older Women’s Tent. The Society are keen to develop international links and be more involved in networking. I will be there to learn from them, share our experiences and bring back to our meeting their issues, views and passions.
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