Sunday, 27 October 2013

Pre-assembly of Women and Men

So, after a long time it is happening. For the first time I meet people I have been working together with more than half a year. Men and women from all over the world are gathering and although I haven’t met so many, I keep on meeting people, with home I have communicated through e-mail, facebook, skype etc. Social media in combination with physical encounters mean a lot in a world, where we cannot and should not travel all the time. We can keep in contact without flying. (Although I have traveled a lot this year. I know!)

At 4 pm (local time) the organizer of the Pre-assembly of Women and Men, Fulata Moyo, had called us together to go through the last details for tomorrow. At 8.30 am tomorrow we start and the programme is packed with lots of interesting persons and perspectives. I will try to write something tomorrow night, if I am not exhausted. My main role will be to open the men’s gathering, which is part of the combined pre-assembly. As men we will meet separately in the afternoon. Together with other men I will also share the responsibility for the different sessions.

It is indeed somehow historic. For the first time men gather to discuss gender justice in this kind of meeting. But this pre-assembly is historic in another sense, which is not so positive. We see set-backs in the work towards gender justice in the world. One is of course gender-based violence, which seems to escalate. This is terrible. So, the time has come. We usually use the word KAIROS for this. Is a great concept. I am using it with humility. But when we as men come and join forces with women we do not come as saviours. It is not about that. The road towards the goal must be part of the goal. We walk together. That’s the thing.

Fulata Moyo together with Aruna Gnanadason, 
who organised the pre-assembly of women seven years ago in Porto Alegre.
Both very concentrated!

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