On Tuesday I took part in a press conference called for the UNDP sponsored SEA Court of Women on HIV, Human Trafficking and Migration.  Yakeba, our program partner here in Bali, is one of the event’s organizers; Nardos (my colleague from ISAPSO in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) and I presented on additional HIV-related work being done before and during ICAAP, including TCP’s workshops and Condom Zone.

This SEA Court will be held as a pre-conference activity tomorrow morning, and I am feeling both terrified and hungry for the education.  For the first time, people will bear witness to personal stories narrated by more than 20 women who have endured trafficking, violence, exploitation and HIV.

The press was asked to report the events of the SEA Court with particular sensitivity, as each of the women testifying has a different level of awareness about why she is telling her story.  In this realm, personal politics become woven into public space, but the crimes against these women are privatized by our culture of shame.  The press was asked to understand why the stories of these women must become public and to relay these atrocities in a way that allows people to examine their own cultures, then find ways to change the aspects of their cultures that they do not need to keep.

I will be attending the Court in the morning, and I will write about it here after I return to the apartment tomorrow.  We will also be doing work inside the UNDP Red Ribbon Community Dialogue Space in the Asia Pacific Village at ICAAP next week, so check back for more details.

UNDP press conference

UNDP press conference

After the press conference, Nardos and I joined the rest of the team for a light-hearted activity:  a visit to the Monkey Forest in Ubud, Bali.  I held a banana over my head, and a monkey climbed all the way up to my shoulder to get it!

Monkey in Ubud

Monkey in Ubud

We ended the day with a big Balinese dinner, after which it was back to the apartment for some late night work.  The pre-conference activities begin tomorrow, our workshops continue through the weekend, and ICAAP begins on Sunday!

NYC and Mexico City join forces!

NYC and Mexico City join forces!

Check in later this week for details on the SEA Court of Women and our workshops at Yakeba with youth, transgendered people and sex workers

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