San Miguel’s Center for Global Justice hosted a hugely successful conference on “Women and Globalization” from July 27 to August 3. Over 185 registered participants from 13 different countries focused on why women have been most adversely affected by globalization and how they have been most creative in resisting it and inventing alternatives.
The fully bi-lingual conference brought together researchers and activists, the global North and the global South, men and women. Most represented were the US and Mexico with 100 and 50 participants, respectively, but Argentina, Cuba and Brazil were well represented, as was India, Germany, Poland, Philippines, South Africa and Nicaragua.
One disappointment was the absence of over 40 participants from an additional 16 countries who wanted to come but could not. Many, especially from Ghana, Nigeria and other sub-Saharan states, could not satisfy new visa requirements of the Mexican government on visitors, including purchasing round-trip tickets prior to visa approval.
Conference workings were dominated by what anthropologists call the gift economy. The behind-the-scenes slogan was “from each according to her/his ability, to each according to her/his need.” Free lodging was provided over 50 participants. About 35 received scholarships for donated lunches and dinners. Local volunteers did the registration, excursions, and provided interpreting and even purified water. The expert, professional donated labor of Babels, a cooperative of translators serving the alter-globalization movement, was perhaps the greatest single gift to the conference.
The Center for Global Justice plans to throw a party in October to thank the over 100 residents of San Miguel who helped with lodging, food and work at the conference.
Co-Sponsored by the Radical Philosophy Association, the Global Studies Association, the Argentina Autonomista Project, Feminist Aid to Central America and the Union of Radical Political Economists. In collaboration with El Recreo Centro Cultural y Mujeres Productoras, San Miguel de Allende.