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Feminists claim their place at WSF: . . . .as they call for a gender just world
Glory Mushinge, PANOS
January 22, 2007

Women networks present at the on-going World Social Forum (WSF) 2007 have decided to mount up their activities and make their presence and voice more visible and audible, in tabling their issues and have them heard, understood and acted upon. The women’s vibrancy in this space borders on the beliefs that ‘another world is possible, only if it is a gender just world’.

They have in the past noted that despite women participating in large percentages at the WSF, their articulation did not seem to be reflected in the formulation and axes of the forum, hence the establishment of the Feminist Dialogues as a side event at the forum, which has seen the rise in number, of women’s participation over the years. From 162 women participants at the WSF 2003 in Mumbai, India to about 250 in Porto-Allegro in Brazil WSF 2004, the number continues to rise along with increased and heightened activities.

In this year’s forum the women’s calendar is packed with events ranging from a march past and rally on the 23rd of January, which will start at 10hrs from the main gate at Kasarani sports complex, where the forum is being held. The rally will have women participants singing and clad in colourful attires that depict their respective countries dress.

With majority speakers being from Africa because Africa is hosting the event, the speakers will comprise women representatives from all regions, who will lead the process of passing slogans, in place of formal speeches, as well as expressing different cultures and expressions.

They have described the 23rd January as an ‘Activism day’. Other events include a round table dialogue with the youth and a session called the ‘Women’s Courts’, where testimonies of sorts from women who have been or and are being abused will be presented by the victims.

The theme for this year’s FD is ‘Feminists Transforming Democrcies : Visions and Strategies’.

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