UN Women - IDRC & SAFHR
Public Meeting on "Women Peace Security"
Venue- India International Centre 25 & 26 February 2014, New Delhi
Some of the region's most articulate and eminent women - political party leaders, scholar-activists, gender equality campaigners and women human rights defenders - met in Delhi to boldly discuss the common and growing challenges to women rights , especially regarding the crisis of political solutions that threaten to shrink democratic space and sacrifice human rights, especially women's rights. The region is confronted with conflict resolution and peace processes which hold out the prospect of an uncertain end to violence, and the more certain experience 'post war' of continuing militarization, the normalization of surveillance societies, increasing authoritarianism, persisting impunity and fractured societies.
The assembly of women from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and India examined the current setback to women's rights in the context of the worsening state of women's security resulting from the escalation of violence in conflict and 'peace' situations, the gendered consequences of the increasing militarized response of the state to peoples' political economic and social struggles, the culture of impunity undermining peoples' rights and governing institutions and the resurgence of conservative right wing forces. The women spoke of a convergence of right wing neo-liberal politics and right wing development paradigms that were making citizens more and more unequal and politics more and more authoritarian. They spoke of ethnic majoritarian state's making their minorities unequal citizens. Women decried the surge in populist and extremist politics and growing intolerance. Whereas some spoke of the grave setback to women's rights after the promise of major gains in Nepal and Afghanistan, others preferred to focus on how to make use of the opportunities that still existed.
The two day meeting of South Asian Women in Delhi on February 26-27, was supported by UN Women and IDRC and organized by SAFHR in partnership with India International Centre. It carried further the process of consultations ushered in at the South Asia Conference on "The Changing Dynamics of Peace building in South Asia: Recasting Women's Agency and Transformative Strategies" in Kathmandu, February 15-17, 2013. The Kathmandu Declaration had with confident resolve asserted women's rights to open spaces for women's participation at every level and aspect of peacebuilding" and "to politically transform peace processes to ensure equality in all power relations especially relations between women and men."This was despite the complexities of continuing militarization, entrenched impunity and the factors that inhibited women's agency in a region where women suffered from multiple layers of social oppression and structural inequalities. But the conflict resolution momentum had opened up spaces for impressive gendered power shifts and gains in women's rights. A year later was the message from Nepal, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India one of a setback to women's rights and the threat of women's rights and freedoms being severely compromised?
Sima Samar, the former Minister for Women's Affairs and currently the chair of the Independent Afghanistan Human Rights Commission, in her keynote address, set the critical tone for the discussions, questioning the significance of the so called 'peace talks' which continued to position women as part of the problem and not the solution. During 35 years of war, "women because they weren't carrying guns were voiceless and forgotten". Even for the international agencies, they were invisible. No health programmes were designed for them. Delivering the key note, she was skeptical about the so called peace talks yielding anything other than a power sharing arrangement. There were too many forces national and international, which had a vested interest in the conflict continuing. As before the emphasis was on a make shift 'reconciliation' via bribes and not 'transformation'. Neither the nationals nor the internationals had a coherent strategy for building peace. She mocked at the peace talks which were steeped in confusion over who represents whom and surrounded in obscurity with even people like her in the dark, let alone the public.
Nonetheless she took comfort in such small gains. If in 2002 the reference in the discussions was to 'Moslem Brothers' by 2014 it had widened to 'Moslem Brothers and Sisters'. As for the contribution of UN SC Resolution 1325 - Samar said, "it recognizes us (women) but it doesn't include us." She was dismissive of the symbolic tokenism of women present via quotas but unable to make an impact. Referring to the women in the High peace Council, she said "They were selected not elected. We should not fight for quotas but for power."
Casting a dark shadow on the Delhi Dialogue on Women Peace and Security was the 'talks about talks' with the Taliban and other extremist forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the return of status quo forces in Nepal, the violent rupturing of the socio-political fissures of the Bangladesh state and society catalyzed by the war crimes tribunal, the deepening crisis of democracy and accountability in Sri Lanka and the growing neo-liberal authoritarianism, deepening structural inequality, and the shrinking legitimacy of democratic institutions of governance in India. All these have consequences for women in a region of extreme gender inequality.
In particular, the gendered consequences of the Afghanistan situation for rights and freedom loomed large. Sima Samar reminded us of the interconnectedness of women's equality, saying, "we are connected with each other. If basic freedoms are compromised we will all be affected." Facing the brunt of the first onslaught are Women Human Rights Defenders of the region.
Breaking the Silence
The message of Delhi was clear - we must break the silence that holds us back
More than one woman stated, our governments accuse us of 'shaming' our states by daring to speak openly of the state as oscillating between "predator and protector" but at stake is the future of our societies and it is a future that is increasingly inter connected for the region's women.
- lest we disturb 'peace processes' that will take away women's rights and freedoms,
- We must break the silence over the takeover of our multi-ethnic societies by a monolithic ethno-religious state and its gendered consequences for women's rights in societies that are polarized and ghettoized.
- We must break the silence over regional and international hegemonies that have complicated and destabilized our polities and societies. We must lay bare the forces which benefit from the peace process becoming an end in itself. "Years of fighting a proxy war are now being followed by a proxy peace". Responsibility for the conflict and its resolution rests not only with one country. The system does not allow for a transformative peace and unless there is change at the international level there can be no 'positive peace' at the national level.
- We must break the silence over patriarchal control of socio-legal regimes that trivialize VAW and marginalize women's interests in the 'higher' interest of maintaining inter community harmony during elections or for reasons of national interest.
- We must break the silence over the impunity of the army and its nexus with fundamentalist forces so visible on the rights and freedoms of women in our region.
- We must break the silence about SGBV in situations of mass politicized violence and recognize and expand the possibility of a gendered narrative entering via the courts,
- We must break the silence on accountability for past 'war' crimes no matter after how long.
The women spoke of their disappointment with the workings of international mechanisms, including UN SC Resolution 1325, and CEDAW to bring attention to gendered perspectives and needs in the region.
Proposed Plan of Action …….
Critical Review of peace processes in our region
[ research on lesser known current peace process e.g. the consequences of multiple peace accords with Taliban and extremist forces in the Swat and FATA area]
Evidence Based Policy Briefs on Peace Processes
Parallel National and Regional Women's Peace Dialogues
[Parallel to the official dialogues which either exclude or include only token women ---- to develop a mechanism for impacting on the official process. A regional scope was suggested to provide for greater impact. It also reflects the reality of the regional consequences of national processes.]
South Asia Citizens Tribunal on Women Peace and Security
[e.g. national & regional focus on SGBV, Impunity and Justice, women, security and militarization; conflict affected women and socio economic rights
Women's Peace Committee
[Action Alert mode]
Cross border response network/ committee that would enable urgent response to cross border or regional situations e.g. Fellani killing on the India- Bangladesh border]
(an associate of Kali for Women)
T R A I L B L A Z E R !
Despite a brief and slender literary career, Rashid Jahan blazed
like a meteor in the progressive firmament of pre-and post-Independence
India. Doctor, writer, political activist, crusading member of the Communist
Party of India, Rashid Jahan was radical in a way that defied all
expectations -- from her social class, her comrades, her peers and
In a remarkably perceptive, richly detailed account of this pioneering
woman, Rakhshanda Jalil offers readers an unusual document: a warm and
informed biography -- based on archival material, extensive interviews and
critical commentaries -- together with fine translations of Rashid Jahan's
best known stories and plays.
Through a subtle counterpointing of Rashid Jahan's political purpose with
her literary and professional skills and sensibility, Jalil paints an
arresting portrait of a woman deeply and passionately engaged with the great
debates of her time: fascism, imperialism, nationalism, socialism and
feminism. This intense engagement is reflected in every facet of her life
and literature, as they unfold here in vivid and compelling prose.
Rakhshanda Jalil is a writer, critic and literary historian. Her published
work comprises edited anthologies, among them a selection of Pakistani women
writers entitled, Neither Night Nor Day; and a collection of esssays on
Delhi, Invisible City: she is co-author of Partners in Freedom: Jamia Millia
Islamia and Journey to a Holy Land: A Pilgrim's Diary. She is also a
well-known translator, with eight published translations of Premchand,
Asghar Wajahat, Saadat Hasan Manto, Shahryar, Intezar Hussain and
Demy 8vo ISBN: 978-88965-86-1
Rs. 395 Pp 246+xx
Published in association with the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts
C.V Mess, Janpath, New Delhi- 110001
(an associate of Kali for Women)
7/10, First Floor
New Delhi - 110016
Tel: 011-26866596/ 26524129
On 9th march 2014, do come and share the lives and experiences of those for whom change means much more than just making a film! make your footprint in the journey of empowerment.
This is an open for all event but we would be happy to receive confirmations. see you this sunday!
Happy Women's Day, Week and Month!
Wada Na Todo Abhiyan !
Wada Na Todo Abhiyan in association with civil society groups in 22 Indian states are carrying out an extensive campaign to make People's Manifesto. The process is on in 250 parliamentary constituencies. We have already held over 2,500 meetings at village/block level. It is encouraging that people are pro-actively participating in the process at all levels.
A newsletters is attached herewith the mail to provide you information about our process in West Bengal.
We will keep updating you through Facebook and Twitter about our process. Our Facebook page address is www.facebook.com/peoplesmanifestownta and Twitter handle is www.twitter.com/pplsmanifesto.
Programme Coordinator, (Mobile number: 08447459549)
Association for Democratic Reforms
Some political parties announced their first list of candidates for Lok Sabha, 2014 recently. A total of 203 candidates were announced by various political parties as on 2nd March, 2014. Out of these 70 candidates had contested assembly or Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha elections in the past. Association for Democratic Reforms and National Election Watch checked the records of these 70 candidates through the affidavits submitted by them during previous elections. The latest information regarding assets as well as criminal charges if any, would be available once the candidates file their affidavits for 2014 Lok Sabha Elections. Detailed report.
Candidates with Criminal Cases: Out of 70 candidates analysed, 34 candidates (49%) had declared in total 224 criminal cases against themselves in their previous election affidavit. Shiv Sena has 12 out of 14 candidates (86%) with criminal cases, BJP has 13 out of 32 (41%) candidates with criminal cases, NCP has 8 out of 13 (62%) candidates with criminal cases and AIADMK has 1 out of 6 (17%) candidates with criminal cases.
Candidates with Serious Criminal Cases: 20 candidates (29%) out of 70 analysed had declared serious criminal cases against themselves in their previous election affidavits. 7 out of 14 (50%) candidates of Shiv Sena have declared serious criminal cases against themselves, 5 out of 13 (38%) candidates of NCP, 7 out of 32 (22%) candidates of BJP and 1 out of 6 (17%) candidates of AIADMK have declared serious criminal cases against themselves.
Candidates with Cases of Murder and related: 4 candidates had declared cases of murder, attempt to murder and related in their previous election affidavits. Bhonsle Shrimant Chh. Udyanraje Pratapsinh (Sitting MP) of NCP from Satara Constituency had declared a charge of murder. Two candidates of Shiv Sena, Eknath Shinde (Sitting MLA, Maharashtra) from Kalyan Constituency and Shivajirao Adhalrao Patil (Sitting MP) from Shirur Constituency had declared a charge of Attempt to Murder. Dhananjay Mahadik of NCP from Kolhapur Constituency had declared a charge related to culpable homicide by causing death of person other than person whose death was intended.
Candidate with cases of Dacoity: Dr. Kirit Somaiya of BJP from Mumbai North East Constituency had declared a charge of dacoity against himself.
Candidates with cases of Kidnapping and related: 3 candidates had declared cases related to kidnapping in their previous election affidavits. Bhonsle Shrimant Chh. Udyanraje Pratapsinh (Sitting MP) of NCP from Satara Constituency and Gopinath Munde of BJP from Beed Constituency declared a case related to kidnapping. Chandrakant Khaire (Sitting MP) of Shiv Sena from Aurangabad Constituency declared a case related to wrongful confinement.
Candidates with cases related to electoral violations: Sanjay Jadhav (Sitting MLA) of Shiv Sena from Parbhani Constituency had declared 2 charges related to Illegal payments in connection with an election and 1 charge related to failure to keep election accounts in his previous election affidavit.
Average Assets of Candidates: The average assets of 70 candidates analysed is Rs. 5.76 crores.
Party-wise average assets: The average assets of 13 NCP candidates is Rs. 17.10 crores followed by 5 candidates of SAD with average assets of Rs. 16.30 crores, 14 candidates of Shiv Sena with average assets of Rs 2.16 crores, 32 candidates of BJP with average assets of Rs. 1.81 crores and 6 candidates of AIADMK with average assets of Rs. 1.89 crores.
No. of crorepati candidates: Out of 70 candidates, 36 candidates (51%) have declared total assets (Self assets +Others Assets) of more than 1 crore.
Party-wise crorepati candidates: 4 out of 5 candidates (80%) in SAD followed by 9 out of 13 (69%) candidates in NCP, 9 out of 14 (64%) candidates in Shiv Sena, 13 out of 32 (41%) candidates in BJP and 1 out of 6 (17%) candidates in AIADMK have declared total assets worth more than 1 crore.
High Asset Candidates: Praful Patel (Sitting MP) of NCP from Bhandara-Gondiya Constituency has declared the highest assets among the 70 candidates analysed, worth Rs. 125.46 crores followed by Harsimrat Kaur Badal (Sitting MP) of SAD from Bathinda Constituency with assets worth Rs. 60.31 crores and Supriya Sule (Sitting MP) of NCP from Baramati constituency with assets worth Rs. 50.45 crores.
Analysis of Criminal and Financial Background of Re-contesting MPs
Re-contesting MPs: Out of the 70 candidates analysed, 29 candidates are sitting Lok Sabha MPs.
Re-contesting MPs with Criminal Cases: Out of 29 re-contesting Lok Sabha MPs, 18 (62%) had declared criminal cases against themselves in their previous election affidavit.
Re-contesting MPs with Serious Criminal Cases: Out of 29 re-contesting Lok Sabha MPs, 10 (34%) had declared serious criminal cases against themselves.
Average Assets of Re-contesting MPs: The average assets of 29 re-contesting MPs is Rs. 10.99 crores.
No. of crorepati Re-contesting MPs: Out of 29 re-contesting MPs, 18 (62%) had declared assets worth more than 1 crore in their previous election affidavits.
The current analysis of the candidates fielded by some of the political parties in their 1st list shows that political parties continue to give tickets to candidates with serious criminal cases. The Association for Democratic Reforms recommends that political parties should refrain from giving tickets to candidates with a serious criminal background. The political parties should take a stand against misuse of money power, bribing of voters and distribution of freebies. Further, the political parties should move towards transparency and disclose the criteria for selection of candidates during elections.
M: +91 8010394248
- Association for Democratic Reforms
- "Kiwanis Centre", 4th Floor,
- B-35, Qutub Institutional Area
- (Near Rockland Hospital)
- New Delhi-110 016
T: +91 11 41654200/01/02/03
F: 011 4609 4248
Web: http://myneta.info, http://myneta.info/party/ Web: http://www.adrindia.org
Follow us at: http://www.facebook.com/adr.new, https://twitter.com/adrspeaks
Launch of EU film 'Women who Inspire' and
UN Women Report 'Hearts & Minds: Women of India Speak'
India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, 10 March, 11.15-12.25pm
A Joint Press Conference to launch the new European Union Film 'Women who Inspire' on inspiring women in India, and UN Women's 'Hearts and Minds', a report capturing the hopes for change of hundreds of elected women representatives in five states.
National Center for Advocacy Studies (NCAS)
NCAS Announces Capacity Building Programme on People-Centred Advocacy 27-29 March, 2014 at Bhubaneswar, Odisha
The National Center for Advocacy Studies (NCAS) is organizing a Capacity Building Programme on People-Centred Advocacy from 27-29 March, 2014 at Bhubaneswar, Odisha. NCAS is a social change resource centre that aims at promoting and strengthening rights-based people-centred advocacy. It endeavors to create enabling conditions for people's empowerment at the grass-roots level as well as to facilitate efforts for human rights, social justice and transparent and accountable governance. It primarily provides support to various grass-root initiatives and people's movements by way of capacity building, campaign and media support, and research & documentation. NCAS, over the last two decades, has conducted around 250 capacity building workshops for organsiations in India and in some other South Asian countries.
The advocacy environment in the country has undergone tremendous changes in recent years. A fresh and updated understanding on concept and practice of People-Centred Advocacy is a felt need in these changed circumstances. NCAS is organising a three-day workshop for Odisha-based organisations. On the third day of the programme i.e. on 29th March, a discussion will be held on developmental schemes and institutions of governance for adivasis in Odisha. Details of the workshop are as follows:
Objectives of the Programme
- To facilitate learning process on People-Centred Advocacy and the concept and practice of Advocacy in India
- To understand the relationship between power, politics and policy in order to empower people and advocate a pro-people policy environment
- To understand the role of the institutions of governance and of the media in advancing the rights of the marginalised
- To gain skills, strategies and methods for planning advocacy campaign
This workshop is intended for the activists of people's organizations, and civil society groups and therefore participation in the workshop is by prior registration only. We request all interested to send in their registration applications by March 5, 2014.
How to apply
- Send a note about your experiences on Advocacy ( English or Odiya)
- Send a registration fee of Rs, 1000 in the name of National Center For Advocacy Studies, ( for funding and donor agencies the amount is Rs. 3000)
- No Registration Fee is required for the activists working with people's organization.
Last of receiving applications is March 5, 2014
Only shortlisted candidates will be informed and invited for the workshop.
Travel expenses will be borne by the participants themselves.
- For Further Details Contact
- Sandeep Kumar Pattnaik
- Programme Officer, National Center for Advocacy Studies
- Plot No. C1-004, Kedar Gauri Apartment
- Garrage Chaak,
- Bhubaneswar, Odisha Mobile No - 8763210608
| link up with wfs
| theme of the month
| ngo news
| wfs services
| about us