SPIRIT OF SISTERHOOD

DESPITE THE HOSTS' SURLINESS, DELEGATES PRAISE THE U.N. WOMEN'S CONFERENCE

The food was unpalatable. the toilets stank. Bathrooms flooded, and accommodations were cramped. Delegates in wheelchairs found themselves assigned to upper-floor, walk-up meeting rooms. Confusion prevailed over the times and places of workshops. Shuttle buses appeared and vanished erratically. Meanwhile, the ever-present Chinese security agents, in plainclothes or uniform, acted with all too much efficiency. They tailed visitors, photographed gatherings, searched rooms and bags, confiscated documents and videotapes, stopped peaceful protests, detained some journalists and on the whole created an intimidating atmosphere. To top things off, even the heavens glowered, sending forth rain that churned up mud, mud everywhere.

Perhaps the...

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