Women of Latin America gather in Brazil to debate gender issues

May 14, 2014

More than 300 participants from 15 different countries are expected in Brazil to attend ELLA, the Latin American Women’s Meeting, that will take place in Belo Horizonte from the 15th to the 18th of May.

Artists, activists, communication professionals, women and men interested in debating gender issues will gather to promote a collectively constructed debate and share life experiences, putting gender issues at the center of current Latin American struggles and activism.

Hivos has partnered with civil society movements in Brazil, such as Fora do Eixo, and TelArtes from Bolivia to put together ELLA, an event that promotes women’s empowerment.

From securing decent work in East Africa to participation in democratic transitions in Honduras and Iraq, Hivos works with frontrunners of change and social justice to further women’s rights and lobby for new laws protecting women against discrimination and sexual and domestic violence.

ELLA aims to build dynamic spaces for sharing experiences that can help create multiple networking paths between people, groups, movements and organizations from Latin America. From Brazilian Funk artists to Quilombola communities, the idea is to aggregate differences in order to build a world project from the perspective of the feminine, in opposition to a conservative hegemonic approach that has reacted violently to 21st century struggles.                               

Since March 8, numerous themes for ELLA were proposed through open meetings and preparatory debates. The agenda includes issues such as the concept and the role of feminism in the 21st century, health, racial struggles, sex and the body, violence, ancestrality and aesthetics.                             

The methodology adopted is participant driven, focusing on shared life experiences, open discussions, artist interventions and open talks that stimulate participation and the free circulation of ideas, allowing space for new issues or themes as they arise.

To broaden participation in and mapping of initiatives around gender issues in Latin America, ELLA issued an open call – with the support of Hivos – that will cover travel, accommodation and food expenses for over 300 people from 15 countries, which points to the urgency of such a debate. 40 international participants are already confirmed, in addition to those from over 60 Brazilian cities. This project is an initiative of Cultura de Rede, realized through networks Fora do Eixo (Brasil), Telartes (Bolívia) and Redada (Venezuela).