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12th Latin American and Caribbean feminist meeting draws to a close.

On November 26, the 12th Latin American and the Caribbean Feminist Meeting "Cutting Loose, Getting Real and Reconnecting" came to a close, with the participation of 1,200 feminists from various countries throughout the region. The meeting took a look at the history of the meetings over the past 30 years and the complex challenges facing the feminist movement in the current social, political and economic contexts of our region. Prior feminist meetings have been held in Colombia, Peru, Brazil (twice), Mexico (twice), Argentina, El Salvador, Chile and the Dominican Republic; according to a decision adopted in the final plenary, the next meeting will be held once again in Peru.

This event raised a multi-tonal chorus composed of the voices of many different women, some with an extensive history of activism in regional feminism and others who only recently began their journey as part of the movement. The format proposed by the Organizing Committee was to open a series of "provocations" as launching points for reflection and analysis based on the experiences of women and organizations in different countries. These discussions covered a wide range of subjects: violence, feminism and post-feminism; women's human rights; feminist legal reform; political bodies; sexuality, sexual rights and reproductive rights; women, power and politics; multiculturalism and multiple identities; autonomy and feminism; self-care, protection and feminism; separation of Church and State; redistribution, recognition and justice; sexual division of labor; the history of the regional feminist meetings; war and violence; and art, culture and feminism. These discussions were supplemented by network meetings, workshops and forums for debate, cultural expression and so on.

The final plenary sought to synthesize the discussions developed in the 14 "provocations," a difficult task considering the very heterogeneous lives of the women present, which included indigenous women, African-descendant women, HIV+ women, lesbians, bisexual or transgender women, old as well as young, and so on. One of the hallmarks of the meeting, this diversity reflects our regional reality and encourages an inclusive feminism that is respectful of differences.

Another highlight was the video tribute to our feminist genealogy, a reminder of all that Latin American and Caribbean feminism has accomplished in recent decades, confronting the patriarchal system, racism, gender violence, fundamentalists and the violence implicit in the implementation of neoliberal economic systems, which have had a disproportionate impact on women's bodies and lives.

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One of the most significant activities during the meeting was the march commemorating November 25, International Day Against Violence Against Women, a date that was established at the First Latin American and Caribbean Feminist Meeting. At that event in Colombia in 1981, the 280 assembled feminists decided to declare a day to denounce gender violence and to demand the socio-cultural changes required to confront it.

Also important was the development and adherence to numerous statements made by women and organizations present at the meeting. A number of declarations were shared on national and regional situations that require immediate responses from society as a whole, including those relating to the decriminalization of abortion, support for the regional student movements, the rights of trans people and the Nicaraguan women's movement rejection of the Ortega government.

For more information, visit the meeting's website which will gradually be including the final documents that emerged from all the activities, including photographs and audiovisual material, etc. Newsletter 16 has also been published, concluding this line of communication that was maintained throughout the process leading up to the meeting.

For more information, visit: http://www.12encuentrofeminista.org/
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Title Annotation:NEWS AND MEETINGS
Publication:Women's Health Journal
Date:Oct 1, 2011
Words:581
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