I miss the World Social Forum.
At this UN meeting, almost everything happens in English, the flyers are all glossy, and the organisations all professional. Don’t get me wrong, lots of great things are happening here, but anyone who draws comparisons between the meetings should consider a reality check. There is lots to learn here, but it really isn’t the place to get inspired as an activist.
I went to a few parallel NGO events today. It was nice to see so many female panelists, but I experienced too many speakers who just couldn’t see beyond the American (US) experience, making it rather hard to conduct global conversation. Frankly, many of the questions have been pretty daft too.
One woman lectured the audience on how they needed to “learn from the West”, another (US politician) rather arrogantly told an African man he had to “change the culture” in his country. The speakers on technology spent a major part of the day arguing that “stereotypes” were the main reason women aren’t more into technology. Ahem, in which part of the world?