DAY TWO Take aways and Reflections!

So much more energy to give on Day 2 of AWID Forum. I felt READY for the day. I met the two new friends Norma (from Zimbabwe) and Nicole (from Kenya) on the steps of the Nippon hotel – the shuttle bus pick up point. I knew that I could use the plenary session to check out the schedule, choose between the 45 breakout session options FOR THE DAY, narrow it down to 3 (ok, or as close to 3 as humanly possible) and still absorb the info.

Key Context Trends and Some Proposals for Transformation: Every morning has a plenary session (except day 4). This session was a fantastic overview of the trends that have been rising ACROSS the globe and some concrete ways to use the analysis of these trends. It was a bit ‘heady’ but it really set the tone for the day. Take aways:

  1. Time Use Surveys are used as one of the tools for estimating unpaid work. How can we use the analyses to create an impact on the system?
  2. Gender has produced an INTERDISCIPLINARY analysis! As feminists we must embrace the ecological model – a more holistic approach! Include the natural economy, not just the market economy.
  3. Alternative economic indicators to GDP – ex: Circles of Well Being (I LOVE THIS IDEA! It’s the only link I could find to a data analysis using it in New Zealand but there must be more somewhere…) Marilyn Waring went on to say that happiness indicator (referring to indicator in Bhutan) is not necessarily the answer.
  4. There is NO Transformation of the SOCIAL body without transformation of the INDIVIDUAL.

Favorite quotes: “Common sense has not been reserved for graduates!” ~ Marilyn Waring and “No matter how strong the movement is, it cannot carry out it’s agenda in isolation” ~Boaventura de Sousa

Breakouts: SUCH a difficult decision between the plethora of enticing breakout sessions! Not only to figure out what would be the most interesting in terms of content – but also the most interesting in terms of presentation/facilitation. Decided upon: Importance of Capacity Building on Economics and Women’s Rights: Challenges, gaps, and opportunities

Take away:

  1. The use of Paolo Freire’s work in popular education as a tool for many different movements. Traditional education metaphor is the banking model of education in which the teacher makes deposits into the minds (banks) of the students and are expected to withdraw the information when necessary. Popular education is an experiential model of education that creates a transformative shift beginning with observation of self, next learning from others and then taking action – always coming back to the beginning of reflection and self. “The kind of education you use leads to the kind of outcomes you get.”
  2. We can use popular education for feminist economic literacy… and use that… to shift entire political systems!!


  1. Through work with the Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute (EFLI) we use some of these methods by utilizing the work of Otto Scharmer and the Presencing Institute + Theatre of the Oppressed NYC as core components of our curriculum for young women. The process feels natural – especially as someone that is more of an experiential rather than academic learner. I can see the shift happening within the girls; the moment when they understand concepts.. not just in their minds, but within that deep core knowledge of body and spirit.
  2. In large countries (even large democracies) it can feel difficult to make a shift in the system. How can we make a change and who are the people that hold the power (is it a select few or a great many)? How can we help young women feel that sense of AGENCY; that they can make a change?
  3. Is participatory learning a part of FEMININE leadership? AND how do we use participatory learning in all ways of running our organizations, executing events (like this forum) promoting cross-movement/inter-agency dialogue, and consciousness raising?

Went to a breakout on Sexual Rights and Reproductive Health (SRRH). Some wisdom that came to light: Advice to donors (from the orgs): a) Go to the community that you want to fund. b) If you can’t speak the language or get through those certain cultural barriers, you probably shouldn’t be funding it. c) If you really want to support the community – find out what the people’s agendas and needs are and bring it back to your board.

Great moment on what inspires one woman to do this work: “We’ve challenged patriarchy in our own homes!”  It definitely got me thinking about what  inspires me… but also – how can we challenge patriarchy in our own smaller systems of daily/life interaction…?

CAN YOU BELIEVE THE DAY WASN’T OVER YET? Good thing these ladies know how to throw a PARTY! We were shuttled to the AWID 30th anniversary party in Sultanahmet (a more touristy area of Istanbul) to a beautiful party in a large underground CISTERN! Reisa, Norma and I did a little exploring and photographing in the area… our adventure was filled with food, turkish delight ;), musicians… circus acts, fire dancers…  an awesome global style dj and more… Check out the photos (they say it all!): 

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