FSE/ESF Forum social européen/European Social Forum - Report of Women's Network Meetings
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// Prep Process (EPA-AEP) // About Athens 2006 // AEP-APE Vienna (01/2006)


Report of Women’s Network Meetings [en]
28 January 2006

 

Key points of agreement and issues raised at the Vienna EPA, 6th and 7th January 05

Prepared by Louise Hutchins, Abortion Rights, UK as requested by the two women’s network meetings in Vienna.

KEY POINTS OF AGREEMENT:

1. WOMEN’S ISSUES AND PARTICIPATION AT THE ATHENS ESF

-  The key issues affecting women must have a high profile throughout the Athens ESF.

-  The advances made at the London ESF on women’s equal representation on all ESF platforms must be maintained and built on for the Athens ESF.

-  The ‘feminist alternatives’ axis (including seminars, workshops, Assembly, Statement, and representation in other axes) should represent the full diversity of women’s experience including those of disabled women, lesbian and bisexual women, black women and poor women and should avoid excluding any section of women in Europe. The ESF should be used to discuss and debate key points of difference.

-  The Istanbul European Preparatory Assembly (EPA) had agreed that half of the solidarity fund should be used for women to attend and speak.

2. SEMINARS

-  It was re-iterated that seminars and workshops are autonomously organised by women’s organisations.

-  The deadline for submitting proposals for seminars and workshops is February 20th 05.

-  There will be room for approximately 150 seminars and 250 workshops in total at Athens.

-  The Women’s Network will encourage proposals from as many different groups as possible before the deadline.

-  The women’s network will circulate to the Network email list a list of seminars already submitted and will work to encourage groups to work together and to submit proposals on a full range of issues for women including: § migrant women § labour, poverty and precarity § women and war § violence against women § reproductive rights § women democracy and power § women’s experience and resistance § disabled women and disability rights § lesbian and bisexual women and opposition to homophobia § black women and opposition to racism § women and health § women and the family § women in the frontline of neo-liberal attacks § women and work.

3. PROMOTING WOMEN’S PERSPECTIVES THROUGHOUT THE ESF AGENDA

Strong links between women’s issues and other axes of the ESF are encouraged. Women’s groups are encouraged to submit proposals that include women’s experience/ analysis/ contribution under ‘feminist alternatives’ axis where appropriate. Women’s groups are also encouraged to submit their proposals under other main axes of the ESF where appropriate to promote the integration of women’s perspectives into those areas.

For example, one might submit a proposal for a session on women’s role in peace and war as part of the anti-war axis.

4. WOMEN’S ASSEMBLY

There will be a Women’s Assembly to provide a high profile focal point for women’s issues at the ESF, to bring together the outcomes of seminars and workshops, and to produce a common Statement. The Assembly should timed to follow most of the other women’s events and to maximise involvement and profile at the ESF.

5. STATEMENT / MANIFESTO OF THE WOMEN’S ASSEMBLY

The Assembly will discuss and agree a common Statement to bring to attention the key issues for women to the rest of the ESF and anti-globalisation movement. The statement will outline the key threats to women and women’s key contributions. It will also set out a common agenda for action. An initial open draft of a Statement will be started soon in order to allow maximum involvement from women’s groups who are already participating in the ESF process and those who are not. The Women’s Network will widely circulate in invitation to participate in the drafting of the statement. The draft will be finalised at the ESF in Athens in order to reflect the outcomes of the women’s events there.

6. HIGH PROFILE EVENTS

If high profile events to mark ESF priorities and attract attendance are agreed, the list of topics should include women’s liberation.

7. PHYSICAL SPACE FOR WOMEN

It was agreed that a space should be made available as a point of contact for women and also for information exchange and display. The space would not be controlled by any one group.

This report is an addition to the notes circulated by Josette Rome Chastanet (IFE) and Sonia Mitralias (Greek Committee for the organization of the Parliament of the women).

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