4th IIRE Women's School big success
The fourth women's session at the IIRE took place in July 1998. Like its predecessors it was a successful and much appreciated occasion for women from different continents and experiences to meet, exchange and discuss. Participants came from the Philippines, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico, Ecuador, Bolivia, Uruguay, Puerto Rico, the United States, Canada, Denmark, Italy, the Spanish state, Portugal and Switzerland.
The coordinating team of Heather Dashner (Mexico), Penny Duggan (France), Tatau Godinho (Brazil) and Nancy Herzig (Puerto Rico) were pleased to work with number of new lecturers bringing new contributions such as the analysis of the changing nature of women's work from Helena Hirata of France/Brazil/Japan, Canadian Wally Seccombe's analysis of the historical evolution of the family structure and Eleni Varikas' highlighting of the history of women's political struggle. Jacqueline Heinen contributed an authoritative analysis of the changing place of women in the evolution of the 'post-Communist' societies of Eastern Europe. Terry Conway from Britain provided a thoughtful contribution on the nature of religious fundamentalism and its impact on women. We regretted however the absence of US family historian Stephanie Coontz whose analysis of gender and class relations has done much to enrich our understanding of Marxism.
At the same time mutual understanding between different cultures is deepened by the daily interaction in organizing daily life from planning menus and cooking to more festive activities.
· Penny Duggan