Sapan webinar to mark 16 days of activism against gender-based violence

27 November, 2021: South Asia Peace Action Network (SAPAN) is organising a webinar on 28 November 2021, Sunday, at 18:30 PKT/19:00 IST titled, “Gender Violence in South Asia: Feminise to Humanise’ as part of the webinar series, “Imagine! Neighbours in Peace”.

Looking at South Asian society through a feminist lens, the session will be dedicated to Kamla Bhasin, the pioneer of feminist activism in our region who campaigned for men and women coming together to resist, to celebrate, to fight as one on the road to gender empathy. 

The event coincides with the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, the annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) and runs till 10 December (Human Rights Day).

The event will begin with an Introduction Note: 16 Days of Activism against Gender based violence; dedication to Kamla Bhasin.

“Let me say it in the words of a poet, Sirf hangama khada karna mera maqsad naheen, meri koshish hai ki ye soorat badalnee chaahiye… My purpose in not to create mere hullabaloo, my endeavour is to change that which is wrong and unjust. Feminists strive for equality; we strive for establishing democracy in every family. Feminists want love to reign in every single household.“

– Kamla Bhasin, ‘ What is Feminism?’ keynote speech at the International Seminar Interpreting Feminism vis-à-vis Activism

Moderated by Swarna Rajgopalan, Professor of Political Science, analyst and founder of Prajnya, the event bring together a diverse range of speakers including journalists, authors, and women’s rights activists from all parts of South Asia. The topics for discussion include gender-based violence, masculinities, and the link between militarisation and gender-based violence. 

The speakers include:

Ho Chi Minh Islam, the first registered trans woman nurse in Bangladesh and a Development Officer and Goodwill Ambassador for the Transgender Rights at No Passport Voice, a national organisation in Dhaka.  

Manjula Pradeep, human rights activist and former Executive Director of Navsarjan Trust, Gujarat; and co-chair of International Dalit Solidarity Network.

Maria Memon, journalist and newscaster, a host with ARY News.

Nalaka Gunawardene, analyst who has worked for newspapers, international news magazines, business magazines, radio and TV channels, as well as global websites covering science and development.

Rahul Roy, filmmaker and recipient of several prestigious international awards, his work standing at the cross section of the city, labour and men’s lives

Radhika Coomaraswamy, Chairperson of South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR), former Director of International Centre for Ethnic Studies in Colombo, former UN Under Secretary General and as Special Representative on Children and Armed Conflict. She was also UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, attached to the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva.

Rita Manchanda, feminist, scholar, author as well as advocate for human rights, peace, and social justice with particular attention to defending the rights of vulnerable and marginalised groups in South Asia: women, religious and ethnic minorities and forcibly displaced persons.

Sara Hossain, a lawyer at the Supreme Court of Bangladesh whose casework includes public interest litigation on gender equality and forced evictions, forced marriage, child custody, protection against torture and ill-treatment, minority rights, and freedom of expression. She is a Board Member of the UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture, and a member of the Bureau of South Asians for Human Rights.

Shireen Pervin Huq, a women’s rights activist working on gender, human rights and development. She is a founder member of Naripokkho where she coordinates programmes on ‘Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health & Rights’ and ‘Standing with Rohingya Women’. She is a founder member of the Committee for the Protection of Fundamental Rights in Dhaka.

To participate in event on November 28, 2021, register here.

ABOUT SAPAN: Initiated in March 2021, Sapan is a coalition of organizations and individuals advocating for peace, justice, democracy, and human rights in South Asia and diaspora, working towards a visa-free South Asia and greater regional cooperation.

Social media links @SouthAsiaPeace –Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn.

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