Feminist International Radio Endeavour-FIRE/ October 2005


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Thursday, October 27

 Plenary Session: What have we changed now?

The opening plenary will provide both a thoughtful reflection of our achievements as well as a call to action in the advancement of women's rights globally. Speakers will reflect not only on the successes we've had but they will also probe our key failures and some of the unintended consequences of our work. We'll learn about our advances and pitfalls in gender and economic justice work, what change has meant within women's human rights, and how young feminists perceive the legacy that's been left for them to take up and transform. This session will also set the stage for a thrilling four days of learning, networking and strategising.



Shareen Gokal, WHRnet Manager, AWID  and Shamillah Wilson, Manager, Young Women and Leadership Program, AWID.

Sunila Abeysekera,  director of INFORM, Sri Lanka.  

Junya Lek Yimprasert, founder of Tai Labour Campaign, Tailand. 

Noelene Nabalivou, Fiji.

Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi, AWID board President and Executive director of African Women`s Development Fund- closing words. 


Session: Models of Resistance: Victims as Leaders

Extremist religious political forces and the increased violence against women they perpetuate can have impacts beyond victimisation. Drawing on their experiences of violence and extremisms, women from around the world talk about the 'moment of opportunity' created by violence, how they harnessed this moment, and how it inspired them to demand that women cast off the role of narrators of sufferings and assume the mantle of leadership. This interactive session explores the various and alternative ways women have mobilised and transformed themselves from otherwise horrific experiences.



Terry McGovern, Women's Health and Human Rights Advocacy Initiative, Law and Policy Project, USA/moderator

Annick Kayetesi, Survivor of the genocide in Ruanda (french)

Monica Gabrielle, 9/11 Families for Truth and Justice, and Terry McGovern, USA.

Visaka Dhamadasa, from and organization of survivors and family members of missing people during the conflict, Sri Lanka.

Madhavi Kuckreja, "Working with survivors and the advocate in survivor relatioship", India.

Sunila Abeysekera, Relationship between survivors and human rigths organizations, Sri Lanka.

Farida Shaheed, WLUML, Summarizing, Pakistan/moderator.

Questions and comments part1

Questions and comments part2

Session: The New Circumstances, New/Old Subjects and New Paradigms of Global Feminisms

The new dynamics created by globalization has meant the end of an era, with the resulting obsolescence of old paradigms and uncertainty about how and with what to replace them. This session will be an interactive political debate to encourage dialogue on the forms/strategies with which feminisms are encouraging new emancipatory paradigms in dialogue with other movements. It will be useful to analyze new ways of existing, conditions and spaces for alliances between feminisms and other movements and the way they are shaping new practices in our agendas.



Virginia Vargas, Colectivo Flora Tristán, Perú (spanish)

Sunila Abeyesekera, INFORM, Sri Lanka

Colective Dialogue Part1

Colective Dialogue Part2


Friday,october 18

Plenary Session: What is the change around us?

This plenary, set in a talk show format, will commence with a 25 minute video produced by AWID entitled Three Moves Deep: Planning for the Future of Women's Human Rights. Based on perspectives of researchers and activists from around the world, the video scans issues from climate change to geo-political shifts, from fundamentalisms to disease as the key issues that will affect our futures. The video will set the stage for a lively discussion among our knowledgeable "panelists" on the changing and complex context in which we are seeking human rights and social justice, the new issues emerging in the coming decades and what we all must consider in order to address them.

Anita Nayar (moderator), India./Marsha T Darling, USA/Yassine Fall, Senegal/Nursyahbani Katjasungkana, Indonesia/Yanar Mohammed, Irak/Ramesh Singh, Nepal/Virginia Vargas, Perú



Part 1

Part 2

Part 3


Session: Strategies, Struggles, and Moving Forward: Perspectives on Working to End Violence Against Women

The activism around violence against women has been both an area of struggle and one of success for the feminist movement. What frameworks and strategies, used by women to advance this struggle, have worked in the past, and what challenges are we confronting now and in the future? In this session, presenters will debate where we are at, what we have learned in our struggle against VAW, and where we should go from here.



Lydia Alpizar, AWID, Costa Rica

Charlotte Bunch, Center for Women's Global Leadership (CWGL), USA

Sunila Abeysekera, INFORM, Sri Lanka

Everjoice Win, Action Aid, Zimbabwe

Shirkat Gat, Amnesty International, Asia

Brigit Inder, Women`s Initiatives for Gender Justice, The Netherlands

Barbara Limanowska, SEE Rights, Poland

Comments & questions


Session: From Stigma to Activism: Feminist and Women's Movements Addressing the Challenge of HIV and AIDS

Gender inequality is key to the rapid escalation of HIV and AIDS. However, this is a fairly recent realisation as up until the late 1990s there was a lack of understanding of it being a significant contributory factor. We are presently at a cusp, where women's activism, organising, empowerment and leadership is the only way that acknowledgement of this can be transformed into a force that governments, national and international NGOs can no longer ignore. In this interactive session presenters discuss the lessons learned to date and debate strategies for moving this agenda forward to determine the critical elements necessary for women's empowerment in relation to HIV/AIDS.



Monique Tandoi Wanjala, WOFKA, Kenya

Shamillah Wilson, AWID, South Africa

Kanjoo Mbaindjikua, World YWCA, Namibia

Mary Wandia, Action Aid, Kenya

Comments & questions


Saturday, october 18

Plenary Session: How should we change?

How can we strive to build stronger movements and organisations that are sustainable, effective and transformative? Leaders from around the world will provide provocative insights into how to build new models of leadership, create effective mechanisms of inclusion and diversity, support intergenerational visions, expand our collective institutional capacity, work more holistically across issues, and better resource our critical work. Whether you work in a small grassroots collective or large international development agency, this plenary will both challenge and inspire you.

Lina Abou-Habib, (moderator)



Pramada Menon, CREA, India

Marcela Ríos Tobar, Chile

Enisa Eminova, Macedonia

Sylvia Tamale, Uganda

Medea Benjamin, Code Pink, USA

Lydia Alpizar, AWID Costa Rica


Session: Gender, Sexuality and Law Reform in Muslim Societies: Successful Campaigns from the Middle East and Southeast Asia

Despite conservativisms and the rise of religious right ideologies, women succeeded in breaking new ground in law reform in the MENA and South/Southeast Asia. This change resulted from a growing, determined activism, which has further fuelled and affirmed the possibility and necessity for law reform in the domain of sexuality. In this interactive session, presenters form Turkey (where recent penal code reform included over thirty amendments to safeguard sexual and bodily rights), Morocco (recent family code reform) and Indonesia (new law on domestic violence) will offer an in depth look at these successful campaigns, analyses of gender, sexuality and law reform in Muslim societies and the challenges and opportunities of current advocacy efforts.



Pinar Ilkkaracan, Women for Womens Human Rights- New Ways, Turkey

Nursyahbani Katjasungkana, MP, Indonesia

Rabea Naciri, Morocco (french)

Comments & Questions


Session: Wartime of Social Change: A Teach in and Speak Out Room

When war erupts on their doorsteps, women's daily lives change immediately and forever. Some lose their homes and jobs. Others learn to survive displacement, refugee camps, militarisation, and rape. Women activists come under siege as they fight against military atrocities to preserve human rights and to prevent wartime sexual violence. During and after war, women fill the daily role of peacemaker in local settings. From Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Tajikistan, and Sudan, five women activists will describe how they have amplified women's roles in creating human security, battling for social and political rights, and confronting the conservative backlash as society re-forms.



Hibaaq Osman, Special Representative to the Middle East in Africa (moderator)

Afifa Azim Nazir, Afgan Womens Network, Afghanistan

Zuhra Halimova, Open Society Institute Assistance Fundation, Tayikistan

Omaima Elmardi, GCRT, Sudan Gender Center for Research and Training, Sudan

Nafissa Lahreche, Women Communication Assortion, Argelia

Maya Alrahaby, Siria

Yanar Mohammed, Organization of Womens Freedom in Irak, Irak




Sunday, october 30

Growing Crisis - Growing Older: Creating a Society for Women of all Ages

There is already change happening which is not being monitored and yet has great importance for women's lives. According to the Second World Assembly on Ageing, the world is experiencing an unprecedented demographic transformation: by 2050 the number of persons aged sixty years and over will increase from 600 million to almost 2,000 million. This increase will be greatest and most rapid in developing countries where the older population is expected to quadruple during the next fifty years.' The world is changing. How do we create a society for all ages - and women of all ages? Through creative thinking, this interactive session explores how the women's movements can work with this change, and how we can celebrate older women.



Rosa G. Lizarde, Education & Networking for Latinas' Cooperation and Empowerment, USA

Marta Benavides, International Institute for Cooperation amongst people,  El Salvador

Gloria Coreaga, UNAM, México


Plenary Session:  How does change happen- a wrap up

How do you make sense of four days of intense discussion, debate and deliberation? What can we conclude about what change processes have worked and can work in terms of advancing the rights of women in all our regions? What new big ideas have emerged at this Forum that will be remembered for years or could have a big impact on the way we act, think, or do our work when we leave the Forum? Be part of this participatory closing plenary and hear from these wise women of all ages who will creatively show us all just how change happens.



Introduction and comments of the participants

Maria Alejandra Scampini Franco, REPEM, Uruguay (Spanish)

Bella Matambanadzo, OSISA,  Zimbabwe

Bishakha Datta, Point of View, India

Yvonne Underhill-Sem, DAWN, New Zealand

Lisa VeneKlasen, Just Associates, USA

Geetanjali Misra, CREA (moderator)



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