Women's issues take center stage on Global Exchange's tours

San Francisco-based Global Exchange launched three new programs for its Reality Tours series for 2007 designed to explore women's issues in their respective destinations.

Conceived as educational tours, the programs will bring participants into contact with women from various sectors of society at the destinations, such as labor, government, education and the arts.

The Women's Rights and Leadership in Venezuela tour, scheduled for March 3 to 14, will explore the condition of women in Venezuela under the current government of President Hugo Chavez. Members of the tour party will observe the results of some reforms instituted under Chavez, including a recently formed Women's Bank that supports women's developmental projects and new laws requiring political parties to field 50% female and 50% male candidates.

Meanwhile, from March 5 to 14, Global Exchange will visit Asia for its Afghanistan Women's Delegation to observe the lives of women after the end of the five-year reign of the Taliban. Although war continues in Afghanistan, this trip will visit the city of Kabul and the participants will visit the Ministry of Women's Affairs and some newly established girl's schools; and will meet with female judges, human rights advocates and university students.

The third program, South Africa: Women Building a Nation, will take place Aug. 6 through 17, the highlight being South African Women's Day on Aug. 9. Tour participants will attend rallies and celebrations where they will listen to choirs and speeches, meet with women from all segments of society and learn about the lives of women in the post-apartheid period.

Global Exchange is a nonprofit human rights organization that has been offering travel programs since 1989. For more information, see www.globalexchange.org/tours/index.html.

To contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to David Cogswell at [email protected].

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