Asemblea de las mujeres. Foro Social Mediterráneo. Barcelona

17 de junio de 2005, 18 -21 H.

 

A short history: It is the first time in a social forum that a women assembly is held as part of the program of the forum itself, due to the persuasive perseverance of some women from different groups and countries who felt the need for a place where women issues will be on focus and where the feminist perspective could be expressed and become finally, in an explicit way, a part of the movements agenda for an other world.

We thank all the women initiatives within the previous forums, and the world women march for having hold assemblies in Porto Allegre since 2001 and in Mumbay 2004 at the world social forums, the European women for having struggled for the women day in Paris-Bobigny at the European social forum 2003 and for the efforts they spent in order to do so in the Esf 2004 in London, with less success.

As you perceive, just by this brief history previous to the establishment of the women assembly within the Medsf, the path for receiving visibility and retaking hold of specific rights and having voice for the feminist perspective for a new world has not been easy at all.

As those of you that were in the preparatory assembly in Istanbul have certainly understood, the call for an end to patriarchal dominance still encounters difficulties from the transversal party of men and also from some women who do not see that, also within the men with whom they work daily for changes in our societies there is still discrimination, undeserved intolerance, a jerarchy according to sex and the persisting embarrassment to actually think in terms of equal rights and responsibilities within the differences.

Is does not require being a witch to desire that men will acquire the capability to establish a jerarchy of the needs and the problems on which to base their political and practical action, based on their life experience, and a philosophy inclusive of all the complex levels required for production and reproduction of life, materially, culturally, emotionally and sexually.

Thus, the purpose of having a women assembly comes out from a general instance that applies to the participation of women as autonomous subjects to the building of the struggles for a better world, while the fact that we shall have our first assembly within the medsf has its own specificity. These are to be found in the relative lack of encounters between the south, the north and the east of the area, so it is a recognition of the reciprocal need and the beginning of an interaction, supported by the consideration that women play a central role in the untangling of the social and political issues in the area. This last consideration is mostly recognized by the men and the women of the South.

An other specific aspect that dominates the area, affecting in different but certainly oppressive fashion the life of women, are the diffused cultural and religious-based integralisms. This has a particular weight in creating marginalized and oppressive situation for women. At the same time women have more tools in their traditional relationships with elder and younger to understand, and defeat it, with political tools, but also with other and many forms of resistances. Experiences that need not to be dispersed and that are founding for our collective resistance.

More over in the area women have been in a generalized way the first victims of conflicts, in many forms and with many consequences, but also the ones most ready to rebuild a social tissue and to keep life going during occupations and wars in the south and east of the area of the Mediterranean.

We have 3 goals in the assembly:

-  To exploit our main common and old characteristic of not privileging power but strength as main course of relationships and of being capable to debate to get to know each other needs in order to formulate strategies.

-  To present a methodology of political solidarity and a set of actions to be undertaken emerging from our experiences and needs that can be brought forward to the local women movements to be accepted.

-  To be in the context of the forum for a new world, of debating the adoption of issues for a continuing struggle that can make a better world and can be presented and shared in action with the other movements.

The way to organize the assembly.

The assembly has 3 hours. If we use 2 of these hours for open floor, in this length of time are possible a good number of interventions (say 4 minutes each, makes for about 30): many struggles can emerge and many women can present their activities and propositions.

In the assembly we will take in account also the results of the seminars that will take place in the forum. We could have 30 minutes for that.

Up to now (firts week of june)the seminars that have been proposed by women with a direct bearing on women issues are limited to 16 in about 280.

Nonetheless, since both sustainability of life, economy and the production in all fields are equally shared by women, if not carried on by women,in the whole area and since the war is affecting women lives even worse and with much more shades of oppression and violence than men lives, and given that poverty is first of all a female name, as well as lack of education, I imagine that the relative scarcity of seminars organized by women will not make for less propositions coming from the seminars as a whole.

We could then have 30 minutes to round up and finalize proposals for common action in order to give continuity to the experience of the forum and to the acquisitions of relationships we have developed around and through it, and in order to find ways to use solidarity for having more voice and to device means for sharing tools of any kind to support local undertakings.

The idea is that we also come up with a proposal for the social movements and for the antiwar agendas that might be presented and proposed for being carried on together with all the other movements in the area.

Paola Manduca

pm1magma2@yahoo.com

http://www.fsmed.info

10th June 2005



 



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