Women’s Worlds 2011


Battered Women’s Support Services has been invited to present at Women’s Worlds 2011 July 3 to 7th in Ottawa-Gatineau. 


We will deliver a multi-media presentation on global analysis on violence against women, with an emphasis on direct action we are taking to respond and address violence against women.  Growing directly from our work with women and from our own lives we will present a model for action and for change individually, in relationships, in community, within society and globally. 

We are honoured to join a dynamic delegation of British Columbia women’s organizations who will share analysis and perspectives.  From Women’s Worlds 2011 website, over the four days four daily themes will be examined:

WW 2011 – DAY ONE – Breaking Cycles

As globalization becomes more and more entrenched as the new world order, women around the world continue to mount opposition to colonialism, capitalism, imperialism, and inequality. Why? Because geo-political, organizational, and financial structures play key roles in the perpetuation of women’s inequality, the feminization of poverty, gendered and racialized violence, and other forms of women’s subjugation.

Women are using new tactics to break cycles of oppression – in ways we can see, and so many we can’t.

WW 2011 – DAY TWO – Breaking Ceilings

There is the western concept of ‘the glass ceiling’ which refers to the point beyond which women cannot advance in a career. If we extend this ‘glass’ metaphor to beyond the mainstream professionalized workforce, women bump ceilings at every turn when trying to achieve what men can automatically claim. From classrooms to board rooms, political parties to electoral politics, union halls to the United Nations – the ‘old boys club’ remains alive and well in workplaces, institutions, and systems the world over. Accordingly, so is women’s exclusion.

Whether economic oppression, limited access to positions of power or to power itself, or limited opportunities for educational and labour force advancement, women across the planet are working to dismantle the ceilings – glass or otherwise – that serve to maintain women’s inequality.

And in addition to the limits we face ‘out there’, we also find within our own movements and communities some ceilings that serve to benefit a few and keep the rest from being in leadership, in charge, or even from being heard. Our strength and credibility depends heavily on our willingness to acknowledge the existence of those limits and smash them.

WW 2011 – DAY THREE – Breaking Barriers

Barriers. Borders. Boundaries. So many lines continue to divide us, which is ironic considering how globalization is intended to bring us closer together. Even while modern economic and governance structures imply an increasingly interconnected world, modern wars (on terror, on drugs, on fundamentalisms) continue to re-affirm, even exacerbate, the desire for gates and borders and deep lines in the sand.

Our so-called global village is full of fences. As ideas, goods, and capital circulates freely around the world, what about people? How are women particularly restricted, excluded, or secluded from any possible benefits of globalization?

At the same time, divides between us as women working for social justice persist. We need to have the courage to name and dismantle them.

WW 2011 – DAY FOUR – Breaking Ground

Across the planet – in urban centres and rural communities – women are changing rules, seizing opportunities, and breaking ground. What better occasion than Women’s Worlds 2011 to celebrate the leadership and innovation that is moving global women’s movements to new heights?

We will recognize the women who are breaking ground on campuses and in the grassroots. We will examine how women’s groups and feminist academics can stay resilient in the face of those aspects of globalization which oppose women’s equality, and how new fundraising strategies, new research, new methods of organizing, and new communications tools are helping create the change women want.

This conversation is a powerful opportunity for intergenerational exchange – for women to take notice of innovation that works. It will encourage critical exchanges across distinctions such as North and South, East and West, academic and grassroots, and resourced and marginalized.


Women’s Worlds 2011 – Inclusions, exclusions, and seclusions: Living in a globalized world

The theme of Women’s Worlds 2011 is “Inclusions, exclusions, and seclusions: Living in a globalized world”. Why? Where globalization and women are concerned, provocative questions abound:

Does globalization include, exclude, and/or seclude women?

As global hierarchies realign, how are gender roles and identities evolving?

How are social identifications like power, privilege, citizenship, and nation affected?

Ours is an increasingly integrated world – one where boundaries are shifting under growing flows of capital, goods, power … and people. Who and where we are as individuals and communities becomes less clear within this contemporary, globalized context.

Around the world, women are grappling with changing political, cultural, economic, social, and environmental realities. And the effects of numerous crises – be they economic, ecological, or health-related – intensify obstacles to women’s equality.

Globalization has contributed to the destabilization and marginalization of women and communities. Yet certain consequences have yielded positive results for women. Globalization has meant enhanced communications and organizing – trans-national connectivity that must be deepened as women’s organizations and networks struggle to sustain themselves and maintain resilience in the face of forces that oppose women’s equality.

Women’s Worlds 2011 will be a place for the exploration of these complex matters through reflection, learning, and sharing a variety of ideas and experiences – especially those of women most deeply affected.