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Globalise this! Women's rights in development.

Hundreds of feminist leaders, scholars and activists from all over the world gathered in Guadalajara, Mexico in October to analyse the economic, political, social, ecological and cultural implications of globalisation for women. In view of the unsustainable, undemocratic and exploitative forms of globalisation currently taking place, the gathering focused on one of the most urgent issues facing gender equality work: How can we reinvent globalisation to further the rights of all women?

The three-day forum was organised by the Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID), an international membership organisation that works to connect, inform and mobilise people and organisations committed to achieving gender equality, sustainable development and women's human rights. AWID Forums have long become the biggest international gatherings of feminist scholars, gender activists and funding agencies outside the UN system.

The Mexico Forum launched the "Globalise THIS! Women's Rights in Development Campaign", which envisions a world without poverty, without violence, without discrimination; a world where everyone's needs are met and their human rights are protected; a world where women's rights are both a means and an end of development.

Speakers from around the globe analysed the impact of globalisation on women's human rights, challenged the new political and military order, explored the intersectionality of women's identities and the multiple layers of discrimination and oppression these entail, and questioned whether gender mainstreaming was promoting the interests of poor and marginalised women. A further major focus was on challenges facing women's organising and the development of leadership among young women.

African feminists provided strong input into the Forum. Sisonke Msimang of South Africa challenged the global feminist movement to seriously take up the issue of HIV and Aids, which is killing poor and marginalised women and children in Subsaharan Africa in their millions and threatens to affect other regions of the world in equal magnitude soon.

Participants of the AWID Forum agreed to develop the technological opportunities provided by globalisation to strengthen networks in order to globalise solidarity and women's rights.

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Author:Frank, Liz
Publication:Sister Namibia
Geographic Code:1MEX
Date:Oct 1, 2002
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