IWTC Women's GlobalNet #269

Activities and Initiatives of Women Worldwide 

By Vicki J. Semler and Anne S. Walker
January 25, 2005


BACKGROUND: Some 100,000 anti-globalisation activists have converged with backpacks and banners in the southern Brazilian city of Porto Alegre for the fifth World Social Forum (WSF). WSF organisers took the forceful step of holding the 2005 meeting at the same time as its nemesis, the World Economic Forum, at Davos, Switzerland. "We did not want to get too far from the Davos dates," said Benoit Berger of the FSM world committee. The Davos meeting from January 26-30 seeks to spread liberal, free-market economics that business favors, and the WSF does not. WSF took two years off from competing head-to-head with Davos, 2003 and 2004, and met in Mumbai, India last year. However, WSF will this year be held from January 26-31 and comes back to its city of origin, Porto Alegre, to return to its roots in a mostly Latin American and European movement. The first three forums were held in Porto Alegre. The group's slogan is "Another World is Possible". The vast majority of participants will come from Brazil, the United States, France and Italy. (From website: http://www.indiadaily.com/breaking_news/21930.asp)

(For further information, contact Libay Linsangan Cantor, Media Info-Comm Campaigns Associate, Isis International Manila. Web: http://www.isiswomen.org. Email: libay@isiswomen.org

BEYOND ICT4D*: A FEMINIST DIALOGUE AT THE WORLD SOCIAL FORUM (*ICT4D = Information Communication Technologies for Development) 27 January 2005. 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the WSF events site 3D102

Continuing its advocacy on analyzing and critiquing globalized and corporatized media and ICT structures and systems, Isis will conduct this dialogue with social justice movement activists to probe how the ICT4D framework is played out in their respective sectors or movements. This event expects to analyze emerging trends in the South that implement the neo-liberal economic agenda in the field of Information and Communication and to explore common strategies of actions by groups/movements from different participating sectors in the dialogue.

Invited speakers/reactors include trade unionist Sonny Melencio of the Bulkluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (Unity of Filipino Workers), feminist and education sector activist Celita Eccher of the International Council on Education and the Development Alternatives for Women in the New Era (DAWN); and Steve Buckley of the Alliance of Progressive Communicators (APC), among others. The Dialogue will be facilitated by Ruth Ojiambo Ochieng, Director of Kampala-based Isis Women's International Cross-Cultural Exchange (Isis-WICCE), who will give an introduction of the programme flow, introduce the speakers as well as moderate the audience-speakers interaction. Raijeli Nicole, Isis International/Manila's Executive Director, will present the context and the premise of this dialogue by giving a backgrounder on the discourse and the realities of the ICT for Development framework in the context of the challenges posed by our rapidly globalizing world. Susanna George of the Feminist Dialogue will serve as interlocutor to connect the different speakers' points and guide the discussion towards identifying the differences, conjunctures and prospects arising from the issues raised towards common actions/strategies.

FEMINIST DIALOGUES 2005 FOCUS ON MILITARISM, FUNDAMENTALISM AND GLOBALISATION 23 to 25 January, Porto Alegre, Brazil. Hotel Embaixador (Rua Jeronimo Coelho 354) in Centro Porto Alegre (Tel: 55 51 3215 6600). 4pm

The interlinkages of militarisation and war, fundamentalism/s and neo-liberal globalisation from a feminist and gender/race/class perspective will be highlighted. FD 2005 is the second gathering of various women's networks and feminists. It is part of the ongoing process of strengthening affinities and unities among women's groups and feminists toward revitalizing a transnational women's movement and its solidarity actions with other social movements. The process has been positively influenced by the renewed political dynamism of social movements in and around the WSF.

The Dialogue seeks to emphasize the multiplicity of strategies that women's movements have employed in their everyday political practice. While it does not seek consensus or a unified statement, the FD seeks to make a contribution to movement building within feminist networks, the women's movements and with other social justice movements.

The FD Co-ordinating Group (CG) is made up of the following organizations: Isis International/Manila, Development Alternatives for Women in a New Era (DAWN), INFORM (Sri Lanka), Women's International Coalition for Economic Justice (WICEJ), Articulacion Feminista de Mercosur (AFM - Latin America/Caribbean), African Women's Development and Communication Network, FEMNET (Africa), and National Network of Autonomous Women's Groups (NNAWG - India). The CG is hoping that more networks can provide input for this FD, and will eventually join the co-ordinating group in 2006.

Feminist International Radio (FIRE), headquartered in Costa Rica, will conduct a live streaming webcast of the Feminist Dialogues (FD) at the WSF 2005.

FIRE will cover the full proceedings of the FD from 23 to 25 January 2005 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. This initiative is in collaboration with the FD's Media Team. It is also being co-sponsored by a group of women's organizations that will be contributing to the coverage as well as distributing the information. Women's organizations and networks include: Association for Women and Development (AWID), FEMLINK Media Initiatives for Women in Asia Pacific, WOMENSNET in Africa, Isis Internacional/Santiago in Latin America, Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), the Latin American and Caribbean Women's Health Network, the International Women's Tribune Centre (IWTC) and the International Feminist Gift Economy Network among others. The webcast, along with written press coverage, can be accessed at <http://www.fire.or.cr>. The Dialogues will be conducted in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French. The webcast and written reports will be in English and Spanish. For more details, please visit the FD website at <http://feministdialogue.isiswomen.org> or the Isis International/Manila website <http://www.isiswomen.org>.

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