Matriarchies challenge neo-liberal globalization
December 1, 2005
Press release from FIRE/RIF – Feminist International Radio Endeavour
By María Suárez Toro
San José, Costa Rica
Organized by Heide Goettner-Abendroth with the cooperation and sponsorship of Genevieve Vaughan and the Center for the Study of the Gift Economy (Austin, Texas), the Congress brought together more than 50 scholars from Europe and the USA with indigenous women and men from matriarchal societies as main speakers in the event, such as: Dr. Barbara Alice Mann, Bear Clan of the Ohio Seneca, Iroquois (USA), Jeannette C. Armstrong, Syilx, Okanagan (Canada), Mililani B. Trask (Hawaii), Taimalie Kiwi Tamasese, Samoan (Samoa, New Zealand), Mariela de la Ossa, Kuna (Kuna Yala, Panama), Fatimata welet Halatine, Imajaghen, Tuareg (Central Sahara), Dr. Wilhelmina J. Donkoh, Akan (Ghana), Gad Agyako Osafo, Akan (Ghana/Germany), Dr. Yvette Abrahams, Khoekhoe (Namibia, South Africa), Bernedette Muthien, Khoisan (South Africa), Patricia Mukhim, Khasi (Megalaya, Northeast India), Ibu Ita Malik M.A., Minangkabau (Sumatra, Indonesia), Prof. Lamu Gatusa, Mosuo (Southwest China), and Hengde Danshilacuo, Mosuo
(Southwest China), among others.
All participants discussed both the theoretical and the cultural/political aspects of matriarchal societies with an audience of more than 500 men and women.
Genevieve Vaughan made the connection between
Wal-Mart and Patriarchy when she stated that “Patriarchal
Capitalism is based on the market and the taking of many unseen
gifts. The logic of gift-giving provides an alternative to the logic
of the market. For this reason gift-giving has been devalued and
made invisible though it has not ceased to exist.”
Congress participants made commitments to further develop the study of the contribution that present day matriarchal societies make, and also to help disseminate the needs that women have in those communities to further develop their peaceful and gift-giving perspectives. In addition, participants from the United States and Europe told their stories of struggle against Wal-Mart and other huge corporate chain stores to their Mexican colleagues and commited to support them in their rejection of chain stores in their country.
The Congress was dedicated to the memory of Marsha Gomez 1951-1998), indigenous artist, activist and mother (December 24, 1951 - September 29, 1998).
The First World Congress of Matriarchal Studies took place with great success in September 2003 in Luxembourg/Europe, with the title: Societies in Balance: Gender Equality, Consensus, Culture in Matrilineal, Matrifocal, and Matriarchal Societies.
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