An Inclusive Approach

Global Women's Forum


Women's Advancement Program

The Institute of Cultural Affairs 4750 North Sheridan Road Chicago, Illinois 60640

Tel. (312) 769­5635

Interdependent Project



1. The Institute of Cultural Affairs has designed a project of two interdependent programs aimed at the "poorest of the poor" women of the world. The intent is to enable these women to participate in furthering the world­wide Feminine Movement and to benefit from its effects. The first program, the Global Women's Forum, is concerned with awakening or raising the consciousness level of these often forgotten women to the fact and nature of the world­wide female revolution. The second program, the Women's Advancement Program, directly engages these women in their local community by enabling them to act out the images and roles of the new woman through rebuilding the social and economic environment of the female on the local level. Test runs have been made on both of these programs witn very positive results and the Institute of Cultural Affairs is now ready to run a carefully planned, large scale feasibility check over a period of six months.

2. The first month will be spent doing the set up work for the project. The last or sixth month will be spent evaluating the effort by drawing together the data and insights and planning for future use of the programs. In the intervening four months the programs will be executed in two different operational frames: one for the Global Women's Forum and the other for the Women's Advancement Program. The Global Women's Forum will hold 24 forums over a four month period. In the first two month period, 12 forums will be held in East Asia and in the second two months, 12 in India. Of the 12 forums in East Asia, eight will be held in urban centers and four in rural villages. I.owever, of the 12 forums in India, four will be in urban centers and eight in rural villages. During the concurrent four month period, the Women's Advancement Program will be working in four villages which are actuating a comprehensive socio­economic Human Development Project. The four villages will be selected from varied socio­economic settings in four different nations in order to comprehensively test the feasibility of this program.

3. lIost people today, men as well as women, believe that the most profound historical happening of our time is the Feminine Revolution. The scope of it is so far reaching that women in every nation and circumstance, no matter how unaware, are experiencing its profound effect. The sobering issue that faces the ~eminine Revolution is tne same that lies at the root of all current world development. This tragedy is tnat 85% of the world's population live in an entirely

Inclusive Intent

Implementing A~ent

different universe than the remaining 15% of us who have and control the health, the education, the tecnnical know­how, the resources, the monies, the means of production, and the general essentials for the good life. This means that of the four billion people in the world, 3.4 billion are suffering severe deprivation. Some 1.7 billion of these in dire need are at the level of what is meant by the 'poorest of the poor". Around 900, 00(:, 000 are female who live in the worst of all circumstances, perI,aps the most abused and misused humans on earth. The women of the 15% who care must find a way to effectively bring depth awareness of new possibilities to these millions of oppressed local women. More than that, practical means must lie developed for these local women to participate directly in tZ~e revolution, not simply through cries of protestation but by giving real form to the new possibilities for women on the local level. To assist in this essential effort is the underlyinp ­intent of the dual program proposed by the ICA in this brief.

4. The Institute of Cultural Aftairs is .ln intra­global research and development, training and demonstration group concerned with the human factor in world development. Originally incorporated in the State of Illinois as a not­forprofit corporation, the Institute presently has headquarters in Brussels, Bombay, Chicago, Canberra, lion" ICong and Nairobi and is registered in some 23 nations. ~nong other enterprises, the ICA is engaged in compreh.ensive socioeconomic development on the local level. This involves initiating and developing demonstration projects witZn a plan for replication built into them. Currently, the rr! citute has J6 such projects in 19 different nations, most located in rural villages. The overall intent of the projects is to enable the villages to become self­sustaining and selfdependent and to nurture the self­confirlence necess;lry for both. Toward this end a staff of botn nationals and extranationals live and work with.the local people for two years, actuating the locally designed programs which cover such arenas as nutrition, sanitation, immunization, functional education, family development, community organization, intensified agriculture, light industry and loca] commerce. The ICA's work is supported by private foundations, corporations, concerned individuals, and by government departments and agencies on the federal, state and municipal levels.


5. The Global Women's Forum is a one day working seminar

A .






aimed first at awakening the participants to new images of what lt means to be a woman in the post­modern world, and second, at moving them toward effective engagement in their own communities toward shaping the future of civilization. The Forum is eight hours in length and divided into seven parts: a 45 minute opening reception and a 45 minute closing plenary; morning and afternoon workshops, each 105 minutes in length; a 30 minute presentation in the form of a "group talk" preceding each workshop; and, finally, a two hour luncheon with directed conversation. The reception is an informal morning tea time with registration and introductions. The morning presentation deals with new images of what it means to be a woman in the post­modern world. The morning workshop involves the total group in a brainstorm and gestaIting session on the subject of trends and issues that relate to feminine liberation. The luncheon session is a celebrative time when the women sing, eat together, and rehearse stories out of their past which acknowledge the significant role women have played within their community and in history at large. The afternoon presentation focuses on the challenges and opportunities facing women today. The participants divide into small work groups for the afternoon workshop where they think through the next steps necessary to assume an active role in the development of their community and nation. The highlight of the day is the closing plenary where reports are received from the working groups­and the day is drawn together. At this point the intent is that the participants have developed a sense of being a part of the women in the world who are "on the move".

6. During a four month period, 24 Global Women's Forums will be held in five nations, in both urban and rural situations, for women who have known the benefits of the twentieth century and for women who have not. Three primary objectives of the Global l~omen's Forum are to be tested during this time. The first objective has to do with the applicability of the forum for both the educated women of the cities and the deprived women of the villages. The second has to do with testing the forum's effectivity as a participatory awaken ~ent event and as training in the forum methodologies. The third is to recruit sophisticated women from the urban forums to help lead the rural forums, thus ensuring their uxposure to the actual situation of their sisters in the villages. A consultant team of one western woman and one non­western woman will begin in East. Asia by holding 12 forums in the four nations of Korea, Taiwan, Philippines and Indonesia. EverY fortni~ht 3 forums





will be held in a nation with an emphasis upon the urban centers. One forum will be held in the nation's capitol, the second in another urban center and the third will be held in a village in which the ICA has already initiated a comprehensive development project. Following the completion of the 12 forums in East Asia the team will move to India where 12 forums will be held in the state of tiaharashtra in the four divisions of Bombay, Aurangabad, Pune, and Nagpur primarily in rural villages. Each fortnight three forums will be held in a aivision; one in the capitol and two in villages already engaged in development as a part of the replication of human development projects across Maharashtra state. One of the crucial aspects of this dynamic will be to test the capability of the forum to enable the women of the 15% to learn rapidly how to work side by side with the 85% using the forum methodologies. These 24 forums will provide data necessary for refining the Global Women's Forum and at the same time impact women in their role in the development process.

7. The practical design of the TIomen's Advancement Program is quite simple, although it may appear complex at first glance. This is because it is located in the midst of a comprehensive social and economic development project, its most significant uniqueness. In the Programmatic Chart, located in the Appendix, it is program #34 in the complex of programs. It is important to note that this program makes direct use of 16 other programs which have to do with structuring a human environment for women. The rational and imaginal charts on the Women's Advancement Program found in the Appendix show this focus. The program is a direct action strategy consisting of four major components and sixteen practical arenas. The first component is appropriate technology for women. Upgrading transport means, improving living conditions, promoting essential services and improving production tools provide the means whereby the oppressive nature of women's labor is relieved. The second component is appropriate involvement for women. This component provides the means for expanding social exposure, actuating family development, enabling community participation and improving employment opportunities, thus serving to alleviate unnecessary restrictions on women and their participation in village life. The third component is appropriate training for women. Through providing basic literacy, upgrading domestic management, developing leadership abilities and upgrading functional skills, women will emerge from a situation of imposed ignorance with the possibility and capability of assuming leadership within

Operational Frame

the village. The fourth component is appro?riats caYe ror women. Improving primary medicine, providing maternal care, ensuring preventive health and providing day­care structures gives women the means by which they can overcome the severe physical neglect they have experienced al~ their lives. Through this approach' village women have the possibility, often for the first time, to creatively assume responsibility for their own development, the health and welfare of the family, the enrichment of community life and the economic growth of the community which is 60 vital for the development process. In summary, the external situation in which women live is changed and even more importantly, the women attain methods which allow them to become agents of that change.

8. The operational frame of the Women's Advancement Program requires the injection of catalytic agents from outside the community as well as in ro~ved local staff persons. The catalytic agents would include extra~national persons skilled in women's development, a national staff person and a regional woman in training. Their primary task is to identify women of the community who have the possibility of becomiDg agents of change themselves. At least 5 such women would be located soon after the initiation of the Program, using the geographic unit called a stake to provide a ational frame for their choice. Their secondary task is to monitor the rapid mobilization of the 16 programs mentioned above which provide the enabling dynamic for Program #34. The tertiary task of these five or more local agents of change would include involving the women of the community not only in the arenas of health, education and welfare but also in agriculture, commerce, and industry through the action guilds shown in the Organizational Chart in the Appendix. A particular emphasis will be placed on participation by ­women in the General Assembly, Secretariat, economric and social comnissions and in other dynamics where decis~on making takes place. In addition7 they would help organize special women's discussions End celebrative occasions. Because this program goes on in the midst of development involving all the people of the village, it can remain relatively unobtrusive even as it proves to be powerfully effective.


9. There are five major anticipated benefits as a result of the t~'o programs: Global Women's Forum and th~ Umm~n ~ c




Pro; ec tion

AdvancemE,n­ Program. First, the women of the com~`uniti~ in which these programs are held will benefit fro!n both the fact of their awakenment and from the very practical assistance provided as delineated in the rational chart of Program 't34 in the Appendix. Second, the Female Revol~ ution as a whole will benefit insofar as t'nese two programs are able to demonstrate the steps in concrete action which effect lasting change for women. Third' the whole community benefits from a new surge of creativity and effort that is injected into the community's ongoing development plan by the women who choose to claim their new role in society. Fourth, the i5% of women who represent the advantaged of the earth gain a means of being of service to their disadvantaged sisters through learning to lead forums and assisting in the lloments Advancement Program. Fifth, these programs offer methodologies for awakenment and engagement that can be utilized by any group or individual concerned about the integration of women into the overall process of development.

10. It is evident in any feasibility checlc that the model is being field tested for more extensive use. Upon completion of the feasibility phase of the two concurrent women's programs' the ICA will be in a position to design a long range plan available for mass use immediately. Impossible as this may seem, the eventual target can be nothing less than the 900,000,000 women who make up the poorest of the poor. This planning will take place after the sixth month evaluation of the project. Several possibilities which could be further developed at that time are: first, tile development of means to increase the effectivity and speed of making the Global Women's Forum available on a massive scale. This would involve a combination of training additional women staff, rapid upgrading of women staff on location where the ICA is currently operating and increasing the capability of the women consultants in varioi~s nations. Second, the Global Women's Forum could be made available to public and private agencies with a similar concern. This would make it possible to offer the program in locations where the ICA is not presently located. Third, the Women's Advancement Program can be expanded rapidly by its integration into the replication plans for the 19 different natlons where 36 Human Development Projects are current7y underway. For instance, in India alone, 250 such comprehensive village projects are to be initiated in 1978. Fourth, focusing Global Women's Forum on the urban educated women wili enable the national development effort by training concerned women

to worlc with the 85Z and thereby move toward uniting the \1omen's Movem~nt

Overall Costs

11. ~le total budget for the six montll feasibility test of this dual program thrust for women is $84,490. The cost for the Global Women's Forum component is $25,400 and for the Women's Advancement Program, $49,300. The remaining $9,790 is for the set up and evaluation of both components. The Budget Design Chart, located in the Appendix, shows both the Program Arena Costs as well as the Budget Categories of Personnel and Non Personnel costs. Personnel costs are $25,740 and actuation and monitoring costs are $59,490. Salaries include a Coordinator whose rate is $1,000 per month, a Research Assistant at $800 and Consultants at $600. The per diem while traveling is $15 per person per day and logistics costs for meetings are $5 per person per day. The qualified volunteer consUltants working with the ICA and the experience of years of working at very low costs in Third World situations has enabled this kind of budgeting. Although the average cost per month over the six months is $14,082, the actual phasing of costs will require $10,000 the first month, $30,000 the second, $30,000 the fourth, and $14,450 the sixth and final month.




2. Social

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