Frequently Asked Questions

WW 2011 is a global convergence to advance women's equality through research, exchange, leadership, and action.

Expected to draw some 2000 participants from around the world, WW 2011 is a unique global event that will enhance women's leadership skills and organizational capacity, support the exchange of knowledge and ideas, and foster research and action networks on women's issues.

The first Women’s Worlds event was a modest gathering of academics in 1981 in Israel to discuss the advent of Women’s Studies and forge networks on feminist research. Today, the congress is a large event attracting researchers, activists, policy-makers, advocates, allies, and more.

For an overview of Women’s Worlds, see this slide presentation.

Today’s globalized world makes the context for WW 2011 vastly different from previous WWs.


Women from across the planet will convene at WW 2011 against the backdrop of increasingly powerful forces at work in the name of globalization. As these forces have been building resources, political strength, and testing new techniques to advance their objectives, so too have women’s research networks and feminist movement(s) had to evolve in order to update our struggle within new contexts with new tools.


There are indeed countless gatherings of women, feminists, progressive allies, and others taking place under important themes in locations around the world. Two main factors that set Women’s Worlds apart:


- its original focus on academic research as a tool to advance women’s equality

- its increasing inclusion of the valuable wisdom and perspectives of research that occurs beyond academic – in communities, among grassroots, and at the front lines


Also unique is that WW 2011 is a convergence of academic and activism where a diversity of minds and experiences can examine provocative questions related to globalization and women.

The theme for the 2011 instance of Women’s Worlds – “Inclusions, exclusions, and seclusions: Living in a globalized world” – was elaborated by an early planning committee in 2008. They recognized that around the world, women are grappling with rapidly-changing political, cultural, economic, social, and environmental realities, and that the effects of numerous crises. And while globalization has contributed to the destabilization and marginalization of women and communities, certain consequences have yielded positive results for women. Where globalization and women are concerned, provocative questions abound.


More details regarding the main congress theme can be found here.

WW 2011 will foster research and action networks on women's issues, enhance women's leadership skills and organizational capacity, and support the exchange of knowledge and ideas.


This is a chance for people from all sectors and every part of the world to renew and reset the international agenda for women’s rights for the next decade.


With a genuine focus on the experiences, voices, and needs of those most affected and marginalized, WW 2011 will provide the space and place to:


  • examine questions related to women and globalization

  • share research and knowledge

  • hatch new ideas and networks

  • explore policy solutions to empower and protect women and girls everywhere


By bringing together people working in academia and beyond, WW 2011 is uniquely poised to inspire renewed (as well as permanent) knowledge networks and to build action-research capacity across women’s movement(s). And because of the embracing of new communications technologies, tools, and principles, this event is an opportunity to modernize those networks and capacities.


WW 2011 will also be an opportunity to celebrate and build upon inter-generational exchanges and new leaderships.

Coordinating efforts have been possible through financial support from Status of Women Canada (a federal government agency), as well as other donors sought through intensive fundraising activities. As the two main co-hosts of the congress, Carleton University and the University of Ottawa are providing invaluable in-kind support, as are other agencies, organizations, and institutions. A significant part of our budget is expected to be generated from registration fees.

An offer we cannot refuse! All financial contributions large or small will be gratefully accepted and put to very good use. Please contact Priya Sood through this handy form to discuss your support.

The organizing of WW 2011 is led by committees of volunteers and fuelled by a small Secretariat of five part-time staff members and dedicated volunteers. Names and details are available here.


Absolutely – organizing and mounting an event of this size requires countless numbers of volunteers. If you wish to give of your time and talent AT THE EVENT, watch the website for a volunteer form in January 2011.


Offers of help before then may be directed to

The major plenary sessions of the congress will be offered in English, French, Spanish, and (ASL) American Sign Language. Our full language policy is posted here.

WW 2011 is expected to draw around 2000 participants from around the world. To find out the participant numbers at WW over the years, check out slide #3 of this presentation.

We are developing an online community in advance of the event where participants can engage in networking, dialogue, action, and more. Join this dynamic online community through the registration process.


During WW 2011, we intend to share what is happening through some live-streaming and recorded content, as well as through social networking and social media. The online community space will be the spot to engage in real-time discussions about the event as it unfolds.

Each of the four days of the congress will be organized around a daily theme (read about those here). Each day will feature a macro and micro plenary session, hundreds of workshops and presentations, as well as artistic and cultural programming.


A full and final program will be available on our website by April 2011.

Ideas of who should be invited as keynote/plenary speakers and performers were solicited from committee members and from the broader public through social media outreach. Ultimately, the relevant committees identified who would be invited. This process is now closed.


All of these steps have been taken with the WW 2011 objective of being a diverse and inclusive event in mind.

For panels and workshops, an extensive ten month ‘call for participation’ precedes a selection process. The deadline to submit a proposal was 11 October 2010. Submissions were reviewed by small selection committees comprised of women from both academia and beyond. Final decisions were made in January 2011. The official congress program will be made public in April 2011.

A limited number of subsidies will be made available to support the participation of people from communities too often under-represented at events such as this. Selection criteria and application are available here.

You are welcome to sent us a message through this convenient contact form. Otherwise, our coordinates are as follows:


55 Laurier Avenue East

DMS 3192

Ottawa, Ontario

You are welcome to sent us a message through this convenient contact form. Otherwise, our coordinates are as follows:


55 Laurier Avenue East

DMS 3192

Ottawa, Ontario


K1N 6N5


(011) 613 562 5800 extension 6600

toll free within Canada: 1 877 868 8292 extension 6600

(Someone will respond to your inquiry within five (5) business days)

Congress registration will be available online in January 2011. Registration will include login access to members-only sections of this website where participants can engage in networking, dialogue, action, and more.

In addition to presentations selected from our Call For Participation process (now closed), there will be ample opportunity for open space organizing at the event – time slots and spaces within which participants can self-organize around topics of their choosing.

Delegate registration fees for Women’s Worlds 2011 are posted here. Please note that the cost of registration does not cover accommodation or travel or meals.


Costs associated with accommodations, along with food and event cost information, will be posted on this page of our website as they become available.

Accommodation options and links to various reservation pages will be available on this page by February 2011.

Information regarding travel visas can be found on this page. If you require a letter of confirmation to secure a travel visa to Canada, please email

We are working hard to fundraise for a Solidarity Fund to support the participation of people from communities that are too often under-represented and under-resourced: the criteria and application can be found here. Please note that only a limited number of subsidies will be available. We encourage you to also download our fundraising kit (available in January 2011) and seek other means of support to attend Women’s Worlds 2011.

Selected presenters from among the proposals received for our Call For Participation will be notified by January 2011.


Those selected to receive financial support from our Solidarity Fund will be notified by March 2011. If your attendance at WW 2011 depends on whether you receive support from our Solidarity Fund, we recommend you wait to register until you have heard about funding.

We do, however, encourage everyone to join the online community (part of the registration process) that is being formed in advance of the event where participants can engage in networking, dialogue, action, and more.

Many of you have been asking where exactly WW 2011 will take place. Morning plenary sessions will be held in the newly-renovated Ottawa Convention Centre, while most of the rest of the program rolls out on campus at the University of Ottawa. Arts and cultural programming will be held within walking distance of the campus. Stay tuned for more details.