From Nairobi to Heiligendamm
by Patricia Daniel
I have official press accreditation to go inside the fence to the G8 summit itself. But I am more interested in the alternative summit outside. As I did when I blogged the World Social Forum in Nairobi 2007, I’d like to focus on the extent to which women are involved in the process and what they are saying. I also want to gauge how well the bridge has been built between Nairobi and Heiligendamm – one of the intentions of the G8NGO Platform – in terms of civil society networking and strategising. But I have mixed feelings setting off from Berlin to Rostock, with the escalation of violence that began on Saturday and continued Monday. I’m not afraid for my own safety but those (yes, at least 99% male) protesters have cast a dark shadow over what should have a positive week for global civil society action – using aggression against the aggressors rather than, like the majority of men and women here, celebrating the collective vision that a different world is possible. I’d welcome other women’s comments on this. Readers who wish to keep up with events in detail can check out the ticker news from Indymedia which gives a rather different account of the proceedings to Germany’s official press website.
GOOGLING FOR WOMEN TALKING TO THE G8
by Patricia Daniel
As we did for our coverage of the United Nations Commission for the Status of Women we googled to see who else was talking to – or about – the G8 from a women’s perspective this year.
In fact what we picked up were a number of links to initiatives that happened around the Gleneagles (Scotland) G8 summit in 2005. These included wimmin vs G8 and Action Aid’s travelling exhibition – portraits and statements from 8 women worldwide to the G8 – which was carried in the protests in Scotland. The international human rights organisation MADRE held a meeting with Maasai women in Kenya about what they demanded from G8 while worldpulse magazine covered women’s experiences of the anti-G8 Gleneagles events.
We found much less on the 2006 summit in St Petersburg, notably AWID’s coverage of global economic justice and women – and a BBC report on flametree about the ‘poor G8 summit’ held in northern Mali at the same time.
This year so far there are a number of calls from different organisations to women to raise their voice on specific issues in relation to the G8, some of which we have highlighted in our blog. For example, genanet’s call on climate change and the declaration ‘women won’t wait’ from the international community of women living with HIV/Aids (ICW) who also made 8 requests back in 2005.
The US-based health and equality organisation CHANGE have recently been successful in lobbying the World Bank on women’s sexual and reproductive rights – proving that online campaigning does work.
Also of interest are the German site WDEV (World Economy and Development) blogging G8 (it’s in English) and a post on the World Bank private sector blog about women on the G8 agenda.
So, please continue to send us your own links and updates along with your comments and blog entries.