In addition to serving as an important distribution vehicle for women's presses and women's information-producing organizations in the South, Women, Ink. also supports women's publishers from the South through other services. For example, Women, Ink. organized a hugely successful "women's bookstore" at the NGO Forum '95 on Women in Beijing, which displayed and sold women's publications from over 100 organizations worldwide.
The key vehicle to strengthen the information-producing and dissemination capacities of women's organisations and presses in the South has been the development of its Southern Partners Project. The very name of the project signals its cooperative nature: a joint effort by Women, Ink. with partners in different regions to support women's publishing in the South through a programme of South-South and North-South networking, communication and training.
The Southern Partners Project has made an important contribution to the understanding of factors influencing women's publishing in countries of the South through a series of papers written by the regional partners documenting and analysing the state of women's publishing in Latin America, Brazil, the Caribbean, South Africa, Southern Africa, Morocco, South Asia and the Pacific. ts first regional initiative was held in Africa, at the region's most high-profile publishing and literary event, the 1996 Zimbabwe International Book Fair (ZIBF'96, Harare). (More information about ZIBF 1997.) Funding was raised to bring together key women in publishing from Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Morocco, Egypt and Zimbabwe. Women, Ink., together with Kali for Women (India), coordinated a 1 1/2 day training workshop on marketing and distributing of publications, followed by a panel discussion on African women's publishing. A planning meeting was held which explored other possible activities including a listing of material produced by women's groups and women's publishing houses in Africa in the last ten years in English, French and Arabic, and an anthology of short stories by African women.