07 Dec 2012

Here is a small but significant insight into my trip to Turkey this year. I hope to share pictures and insights about this amazing country in the future but it is paramount that I explain the main reason why I went to Turkey. I was invited to perform at AWID's International Forum on women's rights  and development in Istanbul,rc helicopter which is a non profit organization working towards the full equality of  women & human rights for all  people. I have been a member of AWID since 2006, when I first performed at their conference with Dr Marilyn Waring in Thailand and having always been a socialist at heart, I was really impressed at AWID's strategies and outcomes that benefit the community at large. Belonging to a women's organization seems to con jour up an anti - men or lesbian image for many people but this is propaganda and a false myth created to deflect from the real issues.  The majority of the conference presenters were married with children which I felt gave them even more empathy for their husbands, son's, father's and brother's who suffer also when a society enforces their choice on what a woman can wear, say, go, do, let alone being able to work or study to learn skills. I had been a passive feminist  but with systemic crises, financial meltdown's, environmental disasters, increased inequality and poverty, and intensified repression and violence which is having a tremendous negative impact on people's livelihoods and rights around the world, I can not just sit on the side line anymore and think "what has this got to do with me".
The focus this year was on "Transforming Economic Power to advance Women's rights and Justice", which is really deep, and I welcome any specific questions, but just for example, I would like you to think of all the non- paid work you do, which New Zealand and the VAC in particular, are so dependent on. In the world community also, most of women's work (and a growing number of men) is non paid ie child care, elder care, food production, resource protection, and yet most local and governmental decisions are based on income production/paid work, or money producing enterprises and It is this disparity that is polluting our environment, both physically and socially.
I am proud to be a part of and be able to contribute to AWID and any organization that promotes inclusion, respect and sharing/ learning from each other's diverse realities which also includes the VAC.
If there was a happiness index in our constitution, such as in Butan, there would be no problem supplying our VAC secretary with a new computer to facilitate the tremendous and immense work that she (hopefully) can do with a broken foot but not a broken computer.
I challenge you to make a list of all the non paid work you do and/or have done, as I have below, as this is to acknowledge and value yourself, as my journey began there.



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İstanbul Travestiler