"Otro Mundo Es Posible": Women Power in the VI Caracas World Social Forum and the Bolivarian Revolution

By Kasinsky, Renee | Journal of International Women's Studies, April 2007 | Go to article overview

"Otro Mundo Es Posible": Women Power in the VI Caracas World Social Forum and the Bolivarian Revolution


Kasinsky, Renee, Journal of International Women's Studies


Abstract

This is an insider's account of the participation of a Boston delegate at the World Social Forum in Caracas, Venezuela in January 2006. She relates the stories of women who attended the WSF and those women who through their leadership in their communities create a new world order based on the major themes of the WSF. The health and welfare missions created by the Bolivarian revolution of Hugo Chavez are testimony to the theme of the forum that through the process of participatory democracy "Otro Mundo Es Posible".

Keywords: VI World Social Forum/Caracas, Feminism, participatory democracy

Acknowledgments

The author wishes to acknowledge the hundreds of Venezuelans who generously took the time to share their stories and fill me with inspiration and awe. I also wish to thank my partners with the Boston delegation to the World Social Forum in Caracas who shared information and were inspiring in their own right.

A major feminist contribution has been the practice of informing theory by one's own experiences. Analyzing others' experiences likewise has led to new theories and practices. Experiments in participatory democracy have been major contributions of the New Left and feminist movements. The emergence of the World Social Forum in 2001 and new mass social movements, especially in Latin America have served as inspiration for proponents of democracy around the world.

In the first part of this paper I offer an analysis of my experience as a participant in the Boston Social Forum (2004) and Caracas World Social Forum (2006). I argue that the choice of Caracas as a location for the VI WSF and the Venezuelan context gave a political and social shape to this WSF that was unique and cannot be ignored. For this reason, in the second part of this paper I highlight how some of the major feminist themes of the Caracas World Social Forum have been conceptually shaped as well as carried out in practice by women leaders throughout their communities in Venezuela. The Venezuelan women not only believe the overall theme of the World Social Forum that "another world is possible," they are bringing it to fruition.

From the Boston Social Forum to the VI World Social Forum in Caracas

I attended the Boston Social Forum in the summer of 2004, just before the Democratic Convention began. At that time I had little idea of its origins and its significance both to myself and to the world. I went as a curious observer and became a participant in the Women's Tribunal on Violence Against Violence sponsored by the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and other women's groups. Four of us shared our stories about violence with a limited audience. Later that evening the "wise women" who listened issued their verdict: violence against women was a systemic occurrence which was largely unacknowledged and treated in our society as personal wrongs. As a faculty member at University of Massachusetts I had taught about gender violence. Now I was an insider telling my own story, integrating theory and praxis.

When I heard there would be a VI World Social Forum in Caracas, Venezuela two years later in January of 2006 I signed up to be part of a self-appointed Boston delegation. I have a particular interest in Latin cultures and have traveled and lived in this part of the world. In 1961 I spent three weeks with an Antioch student group observing the early stages of the Cuban revolution. Thirty-seven years later in 1998 I returned to Cuba with the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) as a delegate to the "Encuentro Internacional de Solidaridad Entre Mujeres." Through the 1970s and into the early 1990s I was part of the Guatemala committee in Boston working to support the Guatemalan refugees. In 1994 I became an acompanante accompanying Guatemalan refugees back to their homeland after 13 years in camps in Chiapis, Mexico. (2) Becoming a delegate to the WSF was a continuation of my life-long activism.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

"Otro Mundo Es Posible": Women Power in the VI Caracas World Social Forum and the Bolivarian Revolution
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.