IWTC Women's GlobalNet #319
Activities and Initiatives of Women Worldwide


SEVENTH WORLD SOCIAL FORUM CONVENES IN
NAIROBI, KENYA
January 22, 2007
By Sofia Binioris

1. WOMEN AT THE FOREFRONT OF ORGANIZING WORKSHOPS ON CONFLICT AND PEACEBUILDING EVENTS AT THE WSF

2. FEMINIST DIALOGUES CONVENES IN NAIROBI, KENYA

3. FEMINIST EVENTS AT THE WORLD SOCIAL FORUM

 

With a rallying cry of “Another World is Possible, more than 100,000 activists from around the world are converging in Nairobi, Kenya, from January 20-25, 2007, to participate in the 7th World Social Forum (WSF).  The WSF, which originated in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 2001, is conceived as an open meeting-place where civil society groups and movements against globalization and other imperialisms, meet to debate ideas democratically, formulate and launch action plans and network to effect change.

 

The theme for this year’s WSF is “People’s Struggles, People’s Alternatives.”  More than 1,000 workshops are planned during the week not to mention the countless meetings held by organizations and networks before and after this major social change event.  This is the first time that a WSF has taken place in Africa.

 

WOMEN AT THE FOREFRONT OF ORGANIZING WORKSHOPS ON CONFLICT AND PEACEBUILDING EVENTS AT THE WSF

Of the more than 1,000 events being organized at the WSF, women’s organizations are at the forefront of those that address conflict resolution and peace building concerns. Among these workshops are:
- “Implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security in Non-conflict Zone Countries,” organized by the Human Dignity and Human Rights Caucus, PeaceWomen Across the Globe, UNIFEM and the Women’s International League of Peace and Freedom.
- What do Women Peacebuilders want from the WSF? Another World is Possible if there is Peace,” organized by
the Human Dignity and Human Rights Caucus, PeaceWomen Across the Globe and Coalition for Peace in Africa.

- “Another World is Possible: Women Building Another World – A Panel with Four Nobel Peace Laureates,” organized by the Nobel Women’s Initiative and the Green Belt Movement International.

 

IWTC is specifically involved in the following peace building events:

- Women Speak Out: Peace in 2007

January 23, 2007; 5:30-8:00pm; 19 IN B Lower Gate 19, Kasarani Stadium

“Women Speak Out: Peace in 2007,” is a planning and mobilization workshop for participants to make a concerted global effort towards mobilizing action for peace.  All participating organizations will make concrete commitments at this event and these commitments will be compiled to create a global “action for peace” plan for 2007.  Organizers include the International Women’s Tribune Centre, the Coalition for Peace in Africa, Peace Women Across the Globe, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Third World Movement against the Exploitation of Women, and World Forum for Alternatives. 

IWTC has committed to organizing the “Women Peace Builders Reclaim the Media Week,” a global media initiative to be held in the last week of October 2007 at the time of the anniversary of Security Council Resolution (SCR) 1325.  Women’s organizations and individuals working on peace and security issues will participate by organizing country-level media events, such as press conferences, radio and TV interviews, and developing and distributing their own media materials such as news and feature articles, radio spots, and press releases during the week.

 

- Violence Against Women in Conflict and Post-Conflict Situations: Stopping the Scourge—A Panel Discussion

January 23, 2007—11:30-2:00pm—24 IN B Upper Gate 24, Kasarani Stadium
This panel will examine the varied strategies women’s organizations employ to address the issue of violence against women in conflict and post-conflict situations, and how they use the media to generate support for their work in this area.  The specific provisions of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on violence Against women and gender-based violence will also be analyzed by panelists.  Speakers include Mary Yuanita Okumu, El Taller Africa; Sunday Aggrey Jaden, Gender and Development Organization, Sudan; Kumi Samuel, Sri Lankan Women’s Media Collective; Mary Okioma, Women for Justice in Africa; Elizabeth Asoka, Women Network for Peace, Kenya.

Contact Mavic Cabrera-Balleza, mavic@iwtc.org or in Kenya, please call 0733 712 372.

 

2. FEMINIST DIALOGUES CONVENES IN NAIROBI, KENYA

The 2007 Feminist Dialogues opened in Nairobi, Kenya, on January 17, 2007.   The plenary session for Day 1 of the Dialogues focused on “Transforming Democracies.”  Gina Vargas of Articulacion Feminista Marcosur (AFM), Peru, introduced the plenary and spoke on new democratic perspectives put forward by the social and feminist movements, new elements for democratic citizenship and radical democracy.  Stella Mukasa, from Akina Mama wa Africa, Uganda, focused on the interaction of feminists and the state in Africa, and used the example of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, to illustrate her arguments.  Wendy Harcourt, from Italy with the Women in Development Europe (WIDE) gave her view on contradictions, limits, and manipulations of liberal democracies.  Graciela Guasira from Brazil took a look at the situation in Latin America.

 

The second day of the Feminist Dialogues opened with a report from the African Feminist Forum (AFF) held in November 2007 and the launch of the African Charter of Feminist Principles.  The presenters reflected on the AFF and its role in reenergizing the African feminist movement and highlighting pressing issues for African feminists today, including citizenship, democracy, sexual and reproductive rights and HIV-AIDS.  The final event, a strategic meeting on how the feminist dialogues will contribute to the World Social Forum process, stressed the importance of making certain that feminists contribute to different WSF events and ensuring that there was the promised 50% participation of women in all key spaces.  The Feminist Dialogues is hosting a women’s rally, a controversy panel, and a multigenerational dialogue at the Youth Forum during the 2007 WSF.

 

The first Feminist Dialogues were held in Mumbai, India in January 2003, as a follow-up to the Women’s Strategy Meeting held in Porto Alegre in 2002.  Highlighting issues of women’s human rights, sexual and reproductive rights, sexuality, and linkages between the local and the global, the first FD was attended by over 150 women from across the world.  It was followed by a Feminist Dialogue held in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 2005.

 

For more information, visit: http: //feministdialogue.isiswomen.org/

 

3. FEMINIST EVENTS AT THE WORLD SOCIAL FORUM

- Feminist Youth Tent

January 22, 2007 — 8am-11am — Terrain 9 at Kasarani (WSF Grounds)

A special moment of reflection, dialogue and the sharing of ideas among young feminist women, this event has been imagined as a roundtable discussion with young women from different regions.  Participants include three young feminists from Africa, Latin American and Asia – Saida Ali from Kenya, Kalindy Bolivar from Ecuador and Rodelyn Marte from the Philippines.  Organizers include: Youth Latin America and Caribbean for Reproduction and Sexual Rights (RedLac), Young Women’s Leadership Institute (YWLI), Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN), and Coordinating Group of Feminist Dialogues (FEMNET).

 

The Feminist Freedom Rally

January 23, 2007 — 8:30am-11:00am — Terrain 5 at Kasarani (WSF Grounds)

In today’s world, democratic rights are undermined due to war, militarisms, militarization, fundamentalisms, and neo-liberal globalization.  Feminists from across the world will join together to ‘speak out for freedom’ from such dehumanizing practices and ideological constructs that strengthen patriarchal control over women.  Organizers: Coordinating Group of Feminist Dialogues, FEMNET

 

Controversy Dialogue on Anti-war Wovements and Fundamentalisms

23 January 2007—Time TBA—Terrain 2 at Kasarani (WSF grounds)

What are feminist perspectives on war and peace in the present context of the Global War against Terror?  What criteria do we use to define the political alliances we make in our search to challenge globalization and militarization and radicalize the democratic project?  Are these alliances of convenience and opportunism or are they potentially spaces in which we can see mutual shifts and transformations? These questions and more will be addressed by a panel of speakers including Line Bareiro (Latin America), Dita Sari (Indonesia), and Avesha Imam (WLUML). Organizers include: The Latin America and Caribbean Committee for the Defence of Women’s Rights (CLADEM); INFORM (Sri Lanka); Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML—Africa), Coordinating Group of Feminist Dialogue (FEMNET).

Reports from the Feminist Dialogues will be posted by the Media Team on various mailing lists and on the Feminist Dialogue website at: http://feministdialogues.isiswomen.org

 

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