Gender Equity and Women's Rights at the 2008 World Social Forum

Online event January 20 - 29, 2008
Sponsored by ICCO and equalinrights

This wiki will contain copies of all our key communications shared on our DGroups email lists, plus you can get a "rough" translation of everything using the little translation tool at the top of this page.


  • Day 1-2, Sunday 20 Jan - Monday 21 Jan: Welcome and "get to know." We invite each member to post that they have "arrived" on our shared D-Group and what you are most excited about for this year's World Social Forum in terms of Gender Equity and Women's Rights. This will be in our shared D-Group (The one this mail is coming from). You are each encouraged to post in the language that is most comfortable for you. We'll copy all the messages at the end of the day on the wiki for both auto translation and community members offering their own translations where possible.
  • Day 3-4, Tuesday 22 Jan - Wed 23 Jan - Language SubGroups: During these two days our conversations will focus on your ongoing work, especially projects for the WSF 2008 Global Week of Action that focus on Gender Equity and Women's Rights. We have set up three subDGroups - one in English, Spanish and French. We have subscribed you to one of these groups based on what we know. (Let us know if we put you in the wrong group after the welcome message!) Each group will be asked to summarize their conversation to share with the group on Day 5 and to post for translation on the wiki.
  • 24-27 January: Starting 15:00 GMT on the 24th, DGroups will be down as it move to a new server home! Don't worry, your messages won't be lost.
  • Day 5, 28 January: Reconvene on the "all languages" DGroup and reflect on the range of activities. What might this suggest for 2009? Messages will be reposted on wiki for auto translation. We'll discuss if we want to consider coming back to this discussion space after Global Week of Action to report on event outcomes and further reflections/learnings for 2009.
  • Wrap up/Catch up on 29 January: An extra day, because we always run out of time! Feel free to offer any closing reflections and goodbyes.
  • Post event: Send out short reflection/evaluation survey.

Technologies in Use

  • D-Groups - This is a public Dgroup to which you can add yourself as a member. It will be our main communication tool for event conversations, so if you want to join in the discussion, please visit the link! Please note that the Dgroup is not being moderated during the period of this online discussion, meaning any message you post to it will appear directly, without moderator approval. We'll have three different language break out DGroups as well.
  • Wikispaces - for information sharing and shared translation.
  • Google translation - we have installed a "translation widget" on the wiki. People can select to view a machine translation of any page associated with the event. These translations are not perfect, but they can be a bridge to help us understand each other across languages. In addition, volunteers are encouraged to offer clarifications to the auto translations.
  • Additional technologies: Frappr to map event locations and a Google Calendar for event listings, embedded here in the wiki. If people want to arrange informal synchronous conversations on Skype ( please send your skype IDs to the Dgroup!

Event Background

In 2007 the World Social Forum (WSF) took place in Nairobi, Kenya. This global venue offered a key opportunity to explore strategies for achieving social justice, international solidarity, gender equity, peace and defense of the environment on a global scale. In preparation for the WSF, a number of development organizations, human rights networks, and other civil society groups formed the Human Dignity and Human Rights Caucus (HDHRC). Several members of the HDHRC worked together to prepare events on “Human rights and the struggle for gender equity”, one of the six themes of the HDHRC programme in 2007. Information about the HDHRC's past and present activities is available on its blog: as well as on equalinright's website

This year, no global WSF meeting is being organized. Instead, organisations are invited to plan local activities. The Interchurch Organisation for Development Cooperation (ICCO) and equalinrights, two organisations who participated last year in the “Gender Equity Coalition” are now coordinating our global online conversation.The conversation is open to any individual or organisation working for gender equity/women’s rights, especially those that have participated in past WSFs and/or plan to attend WSF 2009 in Brazil.

Event Objectives

The objectives of our online conversations are:
  • Sharing information about local plans for 26 January 2008.
  • Identifying opportunities for continued sharing and networking.
  • Collective brainstorming about how to bring gender and women’s issues more to the forefront at the next centralized WSF, to take place January 2009 in Brazil.
  • Concrete action planning for shared initiatives to take place at the WSF 2009. A possible example is to establish a platform or coalition on gender equity.

How to Participate

  • Technology and Languages- We will be using DGroups, an email list with a web-archive, for our conversations. We'll have four different discussion groups: one joint "international cafe" group where we will all chime in using whatever language we can and then do some rough translations, and separate groups in English, Spanish in French for our in depth conversations. Our goal is to both create a way for everyone to be comfortable participating regardless of language, and a place where we all "come together." We'll start and end the event in our "cafe" group. We will copy all messages into a wiki where we have set up a device to automatically machine translate the messages. This is a "rough" translation - far from perfect and often amusing, but it will serve as a bridge as we work to understand not only the issues, but each other across our languages. You can find tip sheets for using DGroups and the wiki here on our wiki (GEWR Tech Tips)
  • Preparation - Prior to our start on January 20th, we ask that each of you post a short introduction and description of your organization's project on the wiki. If for any reason you cannot post on the wiki, send your information to Nancy White at EMAIL ADDRESS. Our conversations will then run from the 21st to the 26th of January.
  • Need help? Email Nancy at nancyw at fullcirc dot com