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(en) Mexico, Seminar in Chiapas.

From Trasgu <trasgu@cable.A2000.nl>
Date Fri, 25 Feb 2000 03:13:11 -0500

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

Hereby I am appending the project Neither Women Nor Men Just the Oppositte.
As well as  providing information, this seminar will be a tool to create
a new international coordination between the different women's groups,
organizations and movements.

There are already a lot of networks, such as the Women in Black or
Network Against Violence against Women or the Global Network of Women
for Reproductive Rights. The project will put all of them in contact; it
will also put other women's organizations which don't work with gender
perspective in contact with them.
Such organisations include, for example, women peasant organizations
inside peasant movements in India. Most of these women organizations do
not know what the gender perspective is and are largely dominated by

This seminar will be divided into two parts. The first will be
information and exchange; the second to develop coordination between all
the networks, organizations and social movements of the differents part
of the world. Thus far, our experience of working in mixed groups with
other issues as the focal point as well as our participation in
platforms and coordinations, has made extremely clear the necessity of
an integrated work around the gender issue. The gaps  are huge, and the
necessary introduction of subjects such as the feminization of the
poverty, sexual orientation, population control is very difficult with
these groups which are insensitive or ignorant of the issues, even when
they call themselves antipatriarcal or are institutions which work "for

We therefore think that  this seminar will be crucial to stimulate this
critical and constructive process inside groups and social movements all
over the world - in women's organizations inside peasant organizations
or movements in India, as in European   environmental or social justice

Hereby I am appending the project.

If you ar interesting in participate in this seminar, please send a letter
with the descripcion of your work (organization), motivation to participate in
the seminar and expectation of it  to this e-mail address or by post to ;
Play Fair Europe! Amsterdam
Lucellestraat 28 Huis   1055HZ Amsterdam
Tel. 031 20 7768279

The fee is 50 dollars (included inscripcion, acommodation and food for the
whole seminar).

1.  Motivation
2.  Contribution to Peoples’ Global Action (PGA)
3.  Objetives
4.  Description of the project
5.  Logistics
Appendix I: Manifesto of AGP

1. Motivation
How is it possible to fight for social justice while you say that equality between men and women is a second-range issue?
How is it possible that the president of a labour federation of maquila workers of Central America is a man, when 90% of these workers are women?
How is it possible that the international leader of a social movement with an ample experience of social mobilisation and transformation at regional and national level
still asks herself what the physical organs of a lesbian look like?
How is it possible that most of the movement of female peasants in Asia are dominated by men?
How is it possible that some women work against sexism but not against racism?
How is it possible that someone who devotes his life to the struggle against the misery and injustice created by the World Bank thinks that the fact that his neighbour
beats up his wife is something totally normal?
Amanda continued walking. She did not run. She walked slowly, with her small bag. All what she had was inside that small bag. Her loose hair and her bright smile. She
breathed and felt the air going into her breast. She was alive, after her body reached the 36th year she was alive for the first time in her life.
Born in the misery of a war. She was not even one year old when she was beaten by her father for the first time. From her drunken father, displaced from his land. Forced
to marry when she was 15. Sterile, by chance not dead, after a bad abortion. Blind in her left eye due to a violent assault. Her back wide open due to the hard work.
But today she walks straight, her head stands proud and her mind is clean. Today she has said ENOUGH. Today she is strong enough to look for a good reason to stay alive.
Yes, she has said “enough”. And now what happens? What has life reserved for her? Yes, her head stands proud but her stomach is empty. Yes, she has screamed “enough” with
the whole of her tiny body, and now what? Where is the alternative?
There are hundreds of millions of Amandas in all continents, also in Western Europe, where discrimination and violence against women is still a daily fact. Patriarchy
leaves its fingerprint in the lives of billions of anonymous women, of the women who have been physically and psychologically mutilated, of the many who chose the
freedom, of the few who achieved it, of those who died in the struggle for their dignity, of those who starved to death, of whores, mothers, artists, scientists,
politicians, revolutionaries, peasants… Many of these women have broken their chains and have organised themselves with other women in order to get along with life
together and fight for a society exempt of patriarchal oppression. Others went back home after trying to be free, since it is difficult to fight alone against what has
always been your world and your life.
The increasing social inequalities caused by neoliberal policies and by the growing despotism of transnational companies and global institutions (WTO, IMF, World Bank,
etc) are visibly worsening the socio-economic situation of women, who find themselves more discriminated, impoverished and destitute since these inhuman policies are
affecting them more than they affect men. On the other hand, grassroots movements from all over the world, representing different social sectors affected by globalisation
(women, peasants, indigenous peoples, workers, fisherfolk, ethnic minorities, etc) are realising that they have to combine their strength in order to transform society,
since nowadays their problems cannot be solved by organising within a single country or within a certain social sector.
Experience has shown us that as a first step it is necessary to increase the capacity of analysis of these movements regarding gender relations within those movements
themselves, most of which have never treated the issue of patriarchy internally.
What is needed is more education, raising the awareness and capacity of analysis of those organisations, of those peoples. Analysing and being aware of the brutal system
called patriarchy, of the racist reality, of the economic reality. And once this awareness has been raised, we need to construct alternatives, and strategies to reach
those alternatives. Resisting and constructing. Information is not enough, we need awareness-raising.
There are already networks, there are already groups working in local projects. Let us exchange information, let us create new common projects and resistance strategies,
let us put the existing networks in contact with each other, let us learn from one another, let us make ourselves strong against the common enemy, the patriarchal system,
racism, neoliberalism… Let us integrate the struggles. Let us look for new tools. We will start with a seminar especially addressed to men and women who are willing to
introduce these discussions in their movements.
2. Contribution to Peoples’ Global Action (PGA)
If you come only to help me, you can go back home.
But if you consider my struggle as part of your struggle for survival,
then maybe we can work together.
-- Aboriginal woman
[quoted at the beginnig of the manifesto of Peoples’ Global Action]
The second conference of PGA took place in Bangalore, from the 23rd to the 26th of August 1999. Several thematic roundtables took place in the three days previous to the
conference, among them one on gender. Leaving aside the great participation of the Indian women, we can assert that at this conference, compared with the first one, there
was a clear regression in the participation of feminist organisations, due to the small funds available for the conference. Inspite of this, two important objectives were
reached at the conference: adding among the hallmarks of the PGA one referring to patriarchy  and the beginning of a continuous work on masculinity within PGA. We clearly
perceived that more men and women were aware about the fact that things have to change within PGA. The gender perspective has to be integrated thoroughly,
anti-patriarchal thinking must be a daily and living fact within PGA.
Although this seminar will be totally independent of Peoples’ Global Action, we hope that it will contribute to improve this movement that in our opinion is still lacking
a sufficiently strong gender perspective. To this end, we will use the seminar as an opportunity to prepare two proposals for PGA: a new draft for a PGA manifesto that
integrates the gender perspective throughout the text, and a feminist organisation to become part of the convenors’ committee.
The PGA manifesto contains a part on gender. We see this text as an appendix. We think that the manifesto as a whole must integrate a gender analysis. This seminar will
thus produce a draft as a proposal.
In the Bangalore conference it was agreed that the Convenors’ Committee of the Third PGA Conference (which will take place in Latin America in an still undefined date)
will include a feminist organisation, besides the organisations that represent the different continents. The Convenors’ Committee will be completed in a meeting that will
take place in June 2000, after several continental meetings in Latin America, Asia and North America, where the convenors of these regions will be defined. At this
seminar we will agree on a proposed organisation or movement working with a gender perspective as convenor, in order to become part of the convenors’ committee.
This is, however, not only a problem of PGA. The leftist movements, those groups that analyse the current economy, that propose to resiste neoliberal policies, too often
forget about the feminisation of poverty, about racism, about patriarchy. There is also plenty of examples of women’s organisations that would deny membership to
lesbians, or of Northern women’s organisations that would never support a Southern woman fighting against capitalism.
To recognise, defend and practice gender equality requires an educational effort within the organisations.

3. Objetives
The general objective of the seminar is to initiate a process of education on gender relations in order to incorporate it into the social and political work of social
movements and organisations from different parts of the world.
The specific objetives are:
a) The creation of a network or coordination of organisations working on gender issues
b) The exchange between the participants of experiences related to the issues treated in the seminar
c) The drafting of a proposal for the PGA manifesto integrating the issues of gender relations throughout the text
d) The election of a feminist organisation as a proposal for the Convenors Committee of PGA
With this project we expect to start a process of organisation and coordination of different experiences, the creation and consolidation on the medium and long term of a
network of multipliers in gender work within social movements and organisations.
We expect the impact of the information given in the seminar not to remain only at the level of discourse, but to be translated in serious commitments to work within
local organisations and networks. In order to support this local and regional work, we want to construct a global process of information, mutual support, exchange and
coordianation of the different experiences and efforts.
4. Description of the Project
The project consists of a seminar on gender relations in Chiapas, Mexico, for approximately 120 participants (women and men) during 11 days.
A fundamental part of this seminar will be the space for exchange of experiences, as a source of strength and learning and as a basis for the future collaboration of the
4.1. Methodology
The seminar will be divided in blocks of contents, besides having a day for the presentation and an afternoon for the presentation of the second block. In the first
block, which will last four days, there will be lectures and discussions about diverse issues related to patriarchy, feminism and neoliberalism, as well as to the
situation and the work of the different organisations and movements represented in the seminar. We will structure these discussions in four issues, listed below.
The second block will be exclusively devoted to discussions on organisation. We will discuss the kind of work that we want to undertake locally after the seminar, the
character of the network that we want to create, its objectives, its systems of coordination and communication, etc., and we will ellaborate the proposals for the new PGA
manifesto and for the feminist organisation to go into the convenors’ committee. This second block will be structured in five issues.
We will treat each issue in the seminar in three phases. The fist one will be a short lecture to situate all the participants in the same framework, pointing out the main
themes for the discussion in small groups. The second phase will consist of discussion in small groups. The intention is not to form different discussion groups to
address various issues in an isolated way, but to discuss all the same topics with the objective of enriching the exchange of experiences, doubts, etc. The third phase
will consist of a plenary where all the small groups will report briefly on their discussions; we will furthermore analyse the proposals to the assambly and conclude. We
expect the discussion groups to change their composition regularly, in order to maximize the exchange and interaction between all participants.

4.2. Thematic Contents
Theme 1: Patriarchy and Gender Perspective
Introducing all participants into the theoric and practical meaning of patriarchy and the gender perspective.
Discussion topics:
Diference between sex and gender.
The femenine and the masculine.
Introduction to patriarchy as a power system.
Religion and patriarchy.
Sexist education. Reproduction of the patriarchal chovinist culture by women.
Gender perspective and social change.
We are planning to devote half a day for this introduction.
Theme 2: Reproductive Rights and Sexuality
To educate and update the knowledge of the participants on the promotion and defense of the reproductive rights and on the discussion about the relationship between
sexual diversity and the patriarchy.
Discussion topics:
Sexual and reproductive health.
Sexual education.
Reproductive rights and religion.
Maternity and Paternity. Single motherhood.
Voluntary motherhood. Legalisation of abortion.
Indigenous cultures and reproductive rights.
International treaties on reproductive rights (Cairo, Beijin, others).
Affective relationships.
Homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexuality and heterosexuality.
We will devote half a day to the discussion of these issues due to the lack of information that exists in certain regions about them.
Understanding the meaning of the feminist movement and reclaiming its contributions to the struggle for the liberation of women, as well as getting to know the
contribution of men to reach gender equality (structured in certain regions in what is known as the masculinist movement).
Discussion topics:
Introduction to the feminist and masculinist movements.
The family as generator of patriarchal power.
Feminism, culture and religion.
Masculinity and gender.
Personal, social, political and economic emancipation.
A brief history of the feminisms.
Feminism, class war, antirracism: convergences and divergences.
Domestic violence.
We have planned one day for the discussion of these issues, due again to the lack of information about them that prevails in certain parts of the world.
Identifying the devastating effect that neoliberalism has on women. Identifying patriarchal power as the reproducer of neoliberal policies.
Discussion topics:
Capitalism and patriarchy.
Relationship between capitalism and patriarchy for indigenous peoples.
The explotation of women in the maquiladoras and in agriculture.
Globalisation, deregulation, privatisation and the feminisation of poverty.
Effects of national and international economic migrations.
Destruction of natural resources and of subsistance economies. Environmental refugees.
Labour violence.
Deconstruction of patriarchy and construction of equality.
We will devote one and a half days to these issues since there is much to be learnt about the diverse links between patriarchy and capitalism, and this is the central
question in the new situation created by economic globalisation which forms the main framework of this seminar.
Introduction to Block 2
We will devote an afternoon to the introduction of the second block, with the aim of offering the participants a chance to modify the proposed programme for the second
block and in order to reach a common framework for them to prepare their contribution to the debate, since we expect all participants to be highly involved in the
preparation of documents, plans, etc. for the second block.
All topics of the second block will be treated in one day. They will start with a brief presentation in the plenary, followed by discussions in small groups (during
almost the whole of the morning) and plenary discussions in the afternoon.
Describing, exchanging and discussing diverse forms of sensibilisation, intervention and change, both within organisations and towards the public opinion.
Discussion topics:
Gender perspective as educational tool.
Action as a form of education.
Dialogue-based, confrontational and direct action.
Desobedience and construction of alternatives.
Antisexist education: models and experiences.
Liberation pedagogy and its application to the antisexist struggle. Anti-hierarchical education.
Antisexist groups of men for men.
Feminist education in non-feminist organisational spaces.
Mass-sensibilisation towards the public opinion.
Socio-economic changes and changes in the gender expectations. The role of direct action.
Discussing different organisational models and diverse communication tools for local and regional work as well as for coordination at international level.
Discussion topics:
Communication models: mono-, bi- or multidirectional; didactic, confrontational, dialogue-based, etc.
Communication tools: oral, written and electronic means; group dynamics; workshops; etc.
Communication as a form of guerrilla.
Organisation and herarchy. Forms of horizontal organisation and grassroots democracy.
Lidership and democracy. Mass-media, the creation of leadership and the erosion of democracy.
The role of funding sources.
Communication and organisation through networks at local, regional and global level.
Elaborating a series of proposals for changes in the manifesto of PGA (or even a new draft) in order to incorporate the gender perspective throughout the text.
Discussion topics:
Those of the PGA manifesto (see Appendix III)
Defining a global network of multipliers on gender work within the regional and local movements or networks, persons who educate other people to reproduce the knowledge
acquired in the seminar. In the same session we will elect the feminist organisation that will be proposed for the convenors’ committee in order to ensure that the gender
perspective is always present in the committee.
Discussion topics:
Role(s) of the network. Name.
Communication tools (including the discussion of translations).
Concrete projects.
Decision-making and structure. Finances.
Selection of an organisation as proposal for the convenors’ committee of PGA.
In this session we will conclude any pending discussion, ellaborate a summarising document with the results of the seminar and make concrete follow-up plans for the
Discussion topics:
Those decided by the participants.

 2 April 3 April 4 April 5 April 6 April
8:00-9:00 Breakfast
9:00-14:30 Arrival and registration Presentation: Gender perspective & patriarchy. Working groups and conclusion plenary Presentation: the feminist movement. Working
groups. Presentation: Patriarchy and Neoliberalism. Working groups. Working groups and conclusion plenary.
14:30-16:30 Comida
16:30-20:00 Welcome. Presentation of program and participants Presentation: Reproduc-tive rights and sexuality. Working groups & conclusion plenary Continuation of
working groups and conclusion plenary. Working groups. Introduction to the 2nd part of the program. Discusión.
20:00-21:00 Cena
21:00-23:00 Exchange of experiences (talks, videos, debates, etc.)

 7 Apr 8 April 9 April 10 April 11 April 12 April 13 A
8:00-9:00 Desayuno
9:00-14:30 Day off Strategies of struggle and education. Discussion in groups. Forms of com-munication and organisation. Discussion in groups. Modificatios of the PGA
manifesto. Discussion in groups. Creation of a global network of multipliers in gender work. Feminist convenor for PGA’s committee. Discussion in groups. Conclussions
Discussion in groups. Departure
14:30-16:30  Lunch
16:30-20:00  Common discussion in the plenary of the previous group discussions; decision about proposals to the plenary.
20:00-21:00 Dinner
21:00-23:00  Exchange of experiences (talks, videos, debates, etc.)

5. Logistics
The seminar will take place in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico.

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