Thinking about "Ädvocacy"
In general I found the conference centre accessible, even though it was huge. The conference centre was well organized so that people could choose what they were keen to know more about. Volunteers were helpful which made it even easier to register and to find more about the conference.
There are two issues which I found very interesting in the conference. The first issue was that "gender"was not clearly addressed in the conference. For example, women who were sitting on the panel as home-based carers did not address the topic of gender inequality in terms of how the economic burden of caring for the sick falls on women. Women are providing home-based care services without being paid, or without being paid a living wage. They did not discuss how their work is important WORK, and they were not questioning why they do this kind of work for government at their own cost.
the second issue was that in advocacy sessions "ëvidence" was a big concern. For example, even our own Minister of Health wanted evidence of how many women had been sterilised when giving birth to their babies, without their consent because they were HIV positive. The need to produce more "ëvidence" seemed like a way for people in power to evade addressing issues, even though they know that the govrnments themselves are not implementing monitoring systems to make sure people's rights are being protected. I do think that as activists we have to find ways of documenting abuses so that our concerns are not easily dismissed.