Chang Pilwha, chairwoman of the Organizing Committee for WW05 told reporters at the Soeul Press Center on June 7, “The upcoming Congress is the first one ever to be held in Asia. Advancement in women's studies in the region where women have seriously been oppressed, paradoxically bears a great significance.” “The Congress will be conducive to expediting the advent of a new peaceful era which will embrace the world,” she hoped.
The theme for the Congress is “Embracing the Earth: East-West/North-South).” Key speakers include Pan-African Parliament Chairwoman Gertrude Mongella, Irene Dankelman, who introduced the concept of sustainable development in environment for the first time, Wu Qing, a Chinese social worker, and Ueno Chizko, Japan's top-notch researcher of sociology and women's studies.
The Congress starts with a keynote speech on “Visions of Feminism” on June 20, followed by “Violence, Intolerance and the Culture of Peace” on June 21, “Globalization, Economic Values and Poverty” on June 22, “Changing Paradigms for the State, Health and Environment” on June 23, and “Celebrating Women's Leadership --- the Way Forward” on June 24. On top of these plenary session speeches, more than 400 panels, round-tables meetings and workshops will capture our attention.
Currently, 2100 proposals for papers from 90 countries have reached the Organizing Committee. Chair of the Academic Program Committee Kim Hyun Mee, Sociology Professor at Yonsei University, remarked, "The reality is that reductions in welfare budgets due to global liberalization make poverty of women grow more serious. They turned their adversities, however, into great opportunities and now exercise leadership in areas that have long been neglected.”
Other events related to the Congress include: the eve at Kyunghee Palace on June 19, exhibition of works by feminist video activists, a film festival on women workers by the Korean Women Workers Associations United(KWWAU), the 3rd Art exhibition on women at Sungkok Art Museum, and Fantastic Asia.