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Sound the Bamboo
[CCA Hymnal]



Women from the South Call for Alternative Globalization

"We are not afraid to say that we live in a time of empire." Thus said a group of church women, feminist economists and women activists from Africa, Asia, Latin America, Caribbean, Middle East and Eastern Europe gathered in Antipolo City, Philippines, on 27-29 August.

A group photo at the venue

Meeting as Women�s Voices on Alternative Globalization Addressing People and Earth (WV - AGAPE), the group analyzed the signs of the times and issued a call to transformative reflection and action to counter the negative globalization that is dominating the world today. This empire-building means the "coherence of economic, cultural, political and military powers that constitute a global system of domination directed by powerful nations and organizations".

It follows a neo-liberal economic model which has made the market into an absolute, and is leading the world towards systemic crises, increased vulnerability, globalization of inequality, and continuous ecological destruction. It has also been accompanied by heightened repression, militarization and massive human rights violations � for where there are profits to be made, these are quickly secured by military might. All these, the women said, have impacted the peoples of the South, especially the poor women.

"We believe that the present neo-liberal globalization is completely against God�s vision of Oikoumene, the household of God that is founded on a theology of caring for all life, that promotes justice, compassion and solidarity with the impoverished, the vulnerable and the excluded," they said.

Instead, they affirmed an alternative vision � of a just, sustainable and caring economy that supports and upholds the sacred nature of all life and creation. They called for a move from the so-called free trade (which is only free for the powerful nations and multinational corporations) to a just, sustainable and caring global trade which, among other things, respects and protects biodiversity, local and collective wisdoms, and cultural identities.
"Just, sustainable and caring global trade and finance ensure that the movement and utilization of goods, services and funds best serve the interests of all peoples. Therefore, decision-making structures and processes on trade and financial agreements and policies must be genuinely democratized to involve and represent women and the diversity of society," they stated.

The consultation was sponsored by the World Council of Churches through the Office of Athena Peralta, consultant on women and economy of the Justice, Peace and Creation Team, based in Manila. The Christian Conference of Asia was represented in said consultation by Hope S. Antone.

On August 30, the group of women from the South attended a public forum organized by the National Council of Churches in the Philippines. The forum on "Voices from the Global South: Women's Perspective on War and Globalization" featured a panel presentation by Ofelia Ortega (Cuba), Namsoon Kang (Korea) and Lucy Mulenkei (Africa).

Namsoon Kang, Ofelia Ortega, and Lucy Mulenkei with Edna Orteza

posted by hope on Saturday, September 18, 2004  

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