Noomi, Ivo and Dick Foeken

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Letter from the Commission Chair

On 4-5 March 2011 I attended the first meeting of the Steering Committee of the International Year of Global Understanding (IYGU) which took place in Weimar, Germany. The IYGU is an International Geographical Union-led initiative lead by Professor Benno Werlen. It aims to mobilize the sciences, social sciences and humanities in a united effort to raise awareness of the global implications of everyday living. I was invited to present on gender issues relevant to the project. The ideas were well received and I am looking forward to continuing working with this Committee as we plan towards having the United Nations General Assembly declare 2014 the UN International Year of Global Understanding.

I am also looking forward on 25-26 July 2011 to taking part in the seminar ‘Householding in Transition: Emerging Dynamics in “Developing” East and Southeast Asia’ to be held at Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. Delegates will explore how in recent decades, the ‘developing’ East and Southeast Asian region has experienced profound social and economic change which has affected household structures and their members’ everyday lives. See for more information.

Later in the year, 8-10 November 2011, I will be joining others at a meeting on ‘Connecting differences through spatial borders’ at the Pontificia Universidade Católica (PUC) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This will be the inaugural Commission conference in Latin-America on gender and geography. It is hoped that from 2011 such meetings will be hosted in the region every two years. The meeting in Brazil will precede the IGU regional conference 14-18 November 2011 in Santiago, Chile. For more information see or contact Joseli Maria Silva at

Finally I would like to remind everyone that next year, 23-25 August 2012, our Commission will host a pre-meeting ‘Down to earth: identities, bodies and spatial scales’ at the University of Hamburg, Germany. Local organizers are Anke Struever and Sybille Bauriedl, University of Hamburg. This promises to be a very interesting meeting that will precede the International Geographical Congress, 26-30 August in Cologne, Germany. Details will be published in due course.

these upcoming events.

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