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 Saturday November 28.

Graça Machel, who came to prominence as the minister for education and culture in Mozambique following independence in 1975, 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 to promote and support women’s movements, influence governance, and advocate 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.

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 November 28 at St Muredach’s Cathedral, Ballina. Admission to this event is free, and attendees are urged to arrive early as a large attendance is expected on the day. For more information, visit www.maryrobinsoncentre.ie, email [email protected] or phone (086 ) 8093965.

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