Pers.Jurid: 199/1970


 On our way to Dakar : World Social Forum 2011

Written by Karine Bertrand

February 2, 2011  

It is with a great deal of joy and enthousiasm that I undertake this journey at the heart of the World Social Forum, with very little time to do, see, and most importantly hear the voices of those who are commited to this process, which encourages reflexion and exchange on a wide level of subjects. Although I’ve learned some facts about Africa, mostly through university classes, media coverage and african cinema, I believe it is a hard challenge to rightly translate the complex and diverse realities of a continent living a transitional phase of its history, having to find balance between tradition and the modern world. This is especially true for african and also other women around the world, who are watching their traditional roles as memory keepers and often submissive human beings transformed by many exterior influences. Our small group (5 women) have chosen to explore this sensitive topic of equality between men and women, specifically (as far as I am concerned) the modern challenges of african women. After carefully reading the very long list of workshops offered at the Forum, we have no choice but to notice the great deal of attention this subject is attracting : Violence against young women, Women and new technologies, Feminist education, Leadership of Maroccan women, and the list goes on… 

A few days away from the big event, I can’t help asking myself  questions about our right, as white, christian westerners to question and judge a culture and tell them (or suggest) a way of living that may or may not be better for them ? Are the African women ready to hear what we have to say ? What about the men ? What do they have to say about women’s rights ? Finally, are we able to offer realistic solutions to some of the problems women are facing ?




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