The power of women: learn, create, organise, struggle, share, enjoy, transform
I’m writting this final assignment in a very special state of mind. I have had a very moving experience that I want to share. I have just returned home from our annual National Women’s Gathering. These gatherings have been taking place for twenty five years. They are attended by women of all walks of life, ages, ethnicities, beliefs or political positions, part of an organisation or not, from all over the country and also from other Latin American countries. Many travel during an entire day to attend the three-day gathering.
The National Women’s Gatherings consist of workshops dealing with the issues relevant to us: this year we had fifty five topics, from motherhood to prostitution; from working to ageing; from political and social organising to migration, sports, education, environment, violence, sexuality, etc. With thirty thousand women attending the gathering this year, you can imagine the immense variety of interests and experiences, the diversity and mixture of voices. There are music, conferences, assamblies. There is a handicraft fair where the women sell their products. The gatherings are nomadic and take place in a different city each year. On Sunday we have a big parade. Women sing creative slogans, shout their demands, carry banners and make graffiti with feminist claims.
The Women’s Gatherings are transforming events. When a woman attends for the first time, she feels transformed with the incredible energy she receives there. She sees powerful women. Women who struggle for their lives, for their communities, for changing the world. Women who laugh in a loud tone, with their mouths wide open. Women who dare to say what they want to say and what they think it has to be said. Women who dance, discuss, organise, and share our “mate” with each other, even with women they didn’t know before.
This was not my first Women’s Gathering. I have attended six, but they still move me. The strengh, energy and determination of women always move me. There joy moves me. There is something very powerful taking place during those days. The gatherings are a good depiction of my vision for my life and the world. My vision is one of creation, organizing, struggling, joining forces both physically and mentally. My vision for the world is deeply influenced by Latin American women. We use to say that Latin America is a place where things are happening all the time, where collective initiatives are created once and again. And we use to say that this a region of peace. My vision, and my challenge, is also one of balance: to be able to balance my time, energy, and work among the many aspects of life and self, between activism and inner life, between earning a living and raising my son, between listening and talking, between the political and the personal.
This four weeks have been empowering and enlightening to me. I have written reports or chronicles many times, as one more task among the many others of my activism. But I have never been so encouraged, I have never felt so comfortable to share my writings and stories (and in a language that is not my mother tongue). For the first time, I feel I have a work to do telling what I see, writing to let others know what we are doing here. And that’s why I whish to be a Voices of our Future correspondent, to do my part in the sharing of knowledge, experiences, ideas, tools. This is the first time I take training in communication and in Web 2.0. I have much more to learn. I see having the possibility to have a mentor as a great opportunity. It was one of the things that decided me to join this training. I’m always looking for teachers, for having someone who wants to share her/his wisdom, to guide me along a new path of life.
I want to learn more, I want to share more, I want to say more, I want to take my place in the task of making Web 2.0 a tool for change in the hands of women.