Are you looking for the


Click HERE!

What is this podcast and why am I doing it?


Ilana Landsberg-Lewis has spent her entire adult life engaged in the struggle for the rights of women and girls.  From her early days as a human rights and labour lawyer to her years at United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), Ilana has worked with women’s groups around the world and has learned that no amount of so-called expertise can replace that of women at the frontlines of their own struggle for justice.  Ilana was the Executive Director of the Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF), with she co-founded with her father, Stephen Lewis, from its inception in March, 2003-February, 2019. Ilana has been deeply honoured and grateful to learn from indomitable grandmothers the world over.


I have spent most of my professional life thinking about how to open up spaces for women, in particular, to talk about the issues that most deeply affect them as the experts they are.  I am not a grandmother yet, but in my work at the Stephen Lewis Foundation, I had the privilege to be involved with the SLF’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign – an initiative that – over the course of a decade – brought together 10,000 grandmothers across Canada, and then Australia and the U.K. to support African grandmothers who lost their adult children to AIDS and are raising their orphaned grandchildren with tenacity, tireless leadership and dignity.  In the course of my work with this astonishing array of grandmothers, I have been deeply affected by their individual stories of triumph over adversity, no matter where they live in so many different ways.  And at the same time, I have become bewildered by the way in which the significant contributions that grandmothers and older women are making at every level of our lives, personal and public, is pretty much invisible.  I think that podcasting is a powerful way to amplify these grandmothers’ voices, experience and expertise.  We have a lot to learn from them but, more than that, my hope is that a growing awareness of the vital contributions of a whole generation of older women and grandmothers will emerge.  I guess I could have written a book or an article but I have literally thousands of grandmothers voices and stories in my head, and I know that these are their stories and insights to tell. Nothing is more inspiring and even life-altering than hearing directly from them in their own words.

To apply to be a guest on the “Grandmothers On The Move” podcast, click here.

AMPLIFYING VOICES to claim human rights – a passionate commitment

Stephen Lewis Foundation Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign wins prestigious Geneva Forum for Health Awards, May 2018.

To learn more about the Stephen Lewis Foundation, go to – and to learn more about the SLF’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, you can read: Powered By Love: A Grandmothers’ Movement to End AIDS in Africa.  National Best-Seller and winner of the 2018 Atlantic Best Atlantic Published Book Award, published by Goose Lane Publishing.  

Of Powered by Love:

This is the untold story of AIDS in Africa.

We thought we knew what was happening in Africa when the AIDS pandemic raged across the continent, sweeping away 35 million lives.  But we never knew it the way this book reveals it, in the shockingly intimate voices of the grandmothers who save their orphaned grandchildren when no one else was left alive.

A dynamic movement of grandmothers rallied in response.  Starting in Canada and spreading across the globe, it now encompasses thousands of grandmothers on several continents.  Together, resolute grandmothers in Africa and around the world are reclaiming hope and courageously saving lives.  Their voices will leap straight into your heart.  Their unguarded faces, in portraits that glow with character, pain and humour, will captivate you. Powered by Love is their story.

Bringing Equality Home: Implementing The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women” (editor), written for the United Nations Development Fund for Women

This groundbreaking booklet chronicled, for the first time, how women around the world have used CEDAW [The Women’s Convention] for the advancement of women’s rights.  From Colombia to Nepal to Zimbabwe and India, women’s rights activists have employed the Convention to change Constitutions, laws and government policies that govern their lives.  It is a significant contribution to the promotion and realisation of women’s human rights.

The United Nations Trust Fund on Violence Against Women (co-originator at UNIFEM)

Global to Local: A Programme to bring women activists from around the world into the CEDAW committee chambers (co-originator with IWRAW Asia Pacific and Alda Facio from Costa Rica,  in Ilana’s capacity as CEDAW Advisor to UNIFEM)

United Nations GLOBE [LGBTQ Rights Organization] (co-founder and first President)

Stephen Lewis Foundation (co-founder, founding Executive Director until 2019)

The Stephen Lewis Foundation has engaged in many initiatives that have sought to amplify the voices and expertise of African grandmothers and activists/advocates in the struggle to turn the tide of AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, such as:

  • Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign
  • The Peoples’ Tribunal on Grandmothers’ Human Rights
  • The Ask Her Talks


Ilana is a member of the National Speakers Bureau and can be booked through the Bureau or directly through her website here.

To book Ilana for podcast interviews, click here.

Enjoy this podcast? Please spread the word :)