AWID In Commemorating Women Human Rights Defenders

As part of this year's 16 Days Campaign Against Gender Based Violence AWID is once again launching an online tribute that expands upon the 2013 Tribute to Feminists and Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) Who Are No Longer With Us.

The 2014 Tribute will be launched on November 25th, 2014 Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and will end on December 10, 2014 International Human Rights Day.

The Tribute honors all feminists and WHRDs who are no longer with us and their work; raises awareness of the increasing levels of violence and repression faced by many WHRDs around the world; and highlights the need to politicize and support self-care, increased protection and safety for WHRDs.

How can I contribute?

AWID invites you to pay homage to all feminists and WHRDs who passed away, were killed, or disappeared between January 2013 and July 2014 by sharing their photos and short biographies with us. These biographies and photos will be uploaded to our online exhibit and shared with everyone through social media and email.

Please send your submission to with the subject line: AWID Tribute 2014 by October 31, 2014. The email should include:

1. A short bio of the women activist you want profiled that is:

  • 6-8 sentences in length
  • includes the name of the WHRD or feminist activist
  • birth date and date of death/disappearance
  • country of origin
  • a short description and nature of the work she carried out
  • an explanation of the circumstances of their death or disappearance
  • In the case of a WHRD who was killed or disappeared please give us an update on where the case stands today (Has there been an effective investigation? Has anyone been prosecuted or brought to justice? Does the case remain in impunity?)
  • a link to any urgent action that might exist online with regards to the case
2. Along with the biography of the feminist and/or WHRD please send us a picture with the following specifications:
  • 4 inches X 6 inches or 10.16 centimeters X 15.24 centimeters
  • Resolution of 1200x1800 pixels (minimum)
  • If the picture is scanned, a resolution of 300 dpi (dots per inch) or above
  • If the picture was taken with a digital camera, a resolution of 6 MP (megapixels) or above
  • The size of the attachment you send us should not be more than 5 MB (megabytes)
  • By sending this photo you are giving AWID permission to us to use the photograph
Please note that pictures downloaded from websites may not be of good quality for printing or audiovisual use and may infringe copyright. We encourage you to send us pictures from your cameras, albums, personal collections or with prior permissions from partner organizations.

Thank you for sharing the stories of the courageous feminists and women human rights defenders in your country or region. If you have any questions please e-mail us at

AWID especially encourages submissions concerning commonly marginalized and excluded groups, such as young women, disabled women, sex workers, LGBTQI, and indigenous women.

Article License: Creative Commons - Article License Holder: AWID



13th Oct. 2014 PRESS RELEASE

It is now confirmed that the young woman from a village in Meerut who had earlier alleged that she was abducted, gang-raped and then forced to convert to Islam has now approached the Meerut police to seek protection from her own family. She has told the police that her earlier statements were completely false and that she had entered into a relationship with Kaleem of her own free will. Her family has since then become aware of the facts of the case and are now threatening her. The young woman has requested protection from the district authorities and has been sent to a Nari Niketan.

An AIDWA delegation had visited the hospital in Ghaziabad where the young woman was admitted on 9th August and had met her family members. We had issued a statement then in which we said that while we fully sympathised with the young woman who was in great distress and in bad health, there were serious discrepancies in her story and, facts that had come to light about the reasons for her earlier hospitalisation, also conflicted with her statements. We had, however, said that her statement must be acted upon by the authorities until further enquiries were carried out. At the same time we condemned the way in which the BJP and its sister organisations were using the incident to inflame communal passions and using it as evidence of the 'love jehad' that they insisted was being carried out in UP and other parts of the country.

Now that the young woman has come forward with a truthful account of what actually transpired AIDWA demands that:

  1. The young woman be given full protection;
  2. Her family members be instructed to refrain from any violence against her and, if they continue to threaten her, be proceeded against according to the law;
  3. All those who were arrested because of her earlier statements be immediately released from jail and all cases against them be withdrawn;
  4. Cases be registered against all those who indulged in activities and propoganda that led to communal tension in Meerut and adjacent districts.

AIDWA expresses its grave concern at the fact that women face the greatest insecurity not only in public spaces but within their own homes. 'Honour killings' and the fear that they inspire are responsible for much violence and also for miscarriage of justice in many cases. We have demanded and drafted a law to deal with this atrocity. It needs to be enacted at the earliest.
      Sd/-       Sd/-       Sd/-
 Malini Bhattacharya  Subhashini Ali  Jagmati Sangwan
 (President)  (Vice President)  (General Secretary)


UN Women

Submission of written statements for the fifty-ninth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW59)

NGOs in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council may submit their written statements for the fifty-ninth session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW59) from 9 thru 24 October 2014 via CSO-Net (please see "Steps for submitting a written statement", below). Statements sent by email will not be accepted.

Written statements should be relevant to the work of the Commission on the thematic issues of the session. The main focus of the session will be on the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, including current challenges that affect its implementation and the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of women. The Commission will undertake a review of progress made in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, 20 years after its adoption at the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995. The review (Beijing+20) will also include the outcomes of the 23rd special session of the General Assembly, the first five-year assessment conducted after the adoption of the Platform for Action, which highlighted further actions and initiatives.

The session will also address opportunities for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women in the post-2015 development agenda.



  • Statements by organizations in general consultative status with ECOSOC may not exceed 2,000 words; statements by organizations in special consultative status with ECOSOC may not exceed 1,500 words.
  • Submit written statements in one of the official languages of the United Nations: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian or Spanish. Organizations submitting statements in more than one official language must specify which language version is the original and which other versions are to be used as references for translation.
  • Indicate the start of a new paragraph with a double line break.
  • Paragraphs of the statement should not be numbered.
  • Do not use footnotes.
  • If the statement is supported by other NGOs in consultative status with ECOSOC, add a note at the end of the document to this effect. (The names of the NGOs should be in alphabetical order).
  • Avoid using abbreviations and acronyms. (For a list of permissible acronyms, please consult the UN Editorial Manual). All others acronyms, including the acronym for the Commission on the Status of Women ("CSW") and for your organization are not allowed in written statements.
  • Keep statements clear, concise, and simple. Avoid repetition.
  • Introduce key ideas and present needed information in the first sentence or paragraph of your statement.
  • Organize material using the principle of one thought per paragraph to make reading effortless.
  • Verify references to titles and dates of United Nations events and conferences.
Steps for submitting a written statement:
  1. Prepare your statement in Microsoft Word or a similar application for text processing and save it on your PC. If you don't save it in advance, you might lose it later during submission, e.g. if your PC loses the connection to the online system. Once you have finalized your statement, copy-paste the final text from your document onto the statement submission page. Please note the online system removes formatting.
  2. To submit a written statement, please go to§ion=8 and click "Submit statement". If you are not logged in to CSO-Net already, the system will ask you to login. Login with your CSO-Net user name and password.
  3. Follow the link "Click here to submit a new statement to this event" at the bottom of the page and copy-paste your statement text from your prepared Word file into the large text field on the CSO-Net page.
  4. Select the language of your submission.
  5. If this is a joint statement, please type the name of the other NGO submitter(s) into the field "Search and add organization" and click "Search". The system will return a list of NGOs. Click "add" next to the NGO that you want to designate as a joint submitter. Repeat this step to add more organizations.
  6. Click "Add" to submit your statement. You may edit your statement until the deadline for submission (24 October 2014). Once the deadline has passed, you will not be able to make changes to the statement. After 24 October 2014, you will receive an email confirmation (This is not an automatic confirmation and may take up to a few days to be sent).
  7. Your statement will be issued in the Official Document System of the United Nations ( and posted in the "Documentation" section of the CSW website closer to the session.
  8. If you have any questions, please email .
UN Women Civil Society Section


Call for Papers - Democracy and Dalit Politics in Neoliberal Times

Tata Institute of Social Sciences and University of Edinburgh are working on a collaborative project titled Marginal Populations, Social Mobilisation and Development. This project is funded by British Council under UKIERI. As part of this project we are organising a conference on Democracy and Dalit Politics in Neoliberal Times.

The conference will be held on December 5th and 6th, 2014 at Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

Brief Note on Conference
The robust mandate of 2014 General Elections in favour of BJP points to the dynamic character of Indian democracy. The sweeping victory of BJP across the North-West and some parts of South India despite a proactive welfarist agenda pursued by UPA, points to the rising and ever changing aspirations of Indian citizenry. In the present neoliberal times, the size of the state is shrinking which entails reduction of welfare possibilities previously open for Dalits. How have Dalit parties and politicians responded to the changing environment?

The rise of new technologies and availability of private media spaces, however, also means that electoral politics is increasingly not restricted to grassroots mobilisation and activism, as virtual spaces and media too have come to play a very important role. Mere rhetoric of identity too does not suffice and these are now innovatively merged with development aspirations to work out indigenous ideologies that appeal to citizens in a competitive political environment. The intersections of civil society-social movements and electoral politics however continue to grow stronger. The NGO bases of AAP (Aam Aadmi Party), and the RSS roots of BJP are just cases in point.

This conference on Democracy and Dalit politics in Neoliberal Times will advance our understanding of subaltern politics by engaging with the challenges and possibilities facing Dalit politics. Some of the key questions that the conference seeks to explore include:

  • What does the consolidation of cultural nationalist politics and an evolving indigenous development discourse mean for Dalits?
  • How do Dalit movements, parties and politicians engage and negotiate with nationalist parties? How do nationalist parties accommodate Dalits?
  • How do Dalit politicians and movements voice Dalit concerns in the framework of cultural nationalism? What are the spaces for politics of dissension and divergence?
  • What does political reservation mean for Dalits and Dalit politics while politics transits to digital spaces in India?
  • What are the challenges and opportunities facing Dalit politics and autonomy in present times?
We invite papers both empirical and analytical in nature to address the above questions. Since we have limited funding we are providing travel only to scholars travelling within India. We will however be able to provide accommodation for all the participants. Scholars interested to participate should send their abstracts by 4th November. Scholars whose abstracts are selected will be notified by 6th of November. All participants will need to submit full papers by November 25th.

Please email abstracts to and

Conference Organisers: Suryakant Waghmore, Centre for Social Justice and Governance, TISS and Hugo Gorringe, Department of Sociology, University of Edinburgh


Delhi School Painting Competition Winners Felicitated during World Habitat Day Celebration

New Delhi: New Delhi:

Students from both public and government schools participated in the competition and approximately 1000 paintings were received. The paintings were of very high quality and the students expressed their thoughts through the following sub - themes - 'Construction Workers in Delhi',''The Life of a Rag Picker'and 'Women and Children - Life Under a Flyover'.

Dr.Kulwant Singh, Regional Advisor, United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-HABITAT, was the Chief Guest. Around 150 participants comprising school children, parents and representatives of different NGOs and other dignitaries attended the event.

The painting competition was an effort to sensitize the young participants about the lives of the homeless citizens, their socio - economic context,survival challenges and effective contribution in building a city. The purpose was to develop the perspective of the young people on the issue of homelessness, instill in them the learning to treat the homeless people with dignity and constructively help them in bettering their lives.

Reported By : Mr.Sadanand Bag, Manager, Advocacy and Networking & Ms. Manisha Kumar, Assistant Manager, Urban Poverty


6th Indian Youth Science Congress - Nov 28 - 30 2014

The 6th Indian Youth Science Congress is scheduled from 28 - 30 November at Acharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh with the theme "Science and the Zero Hunger Challenge".

This will be jointly organized by Acharya Nagarjuna University, MSSRF, SRM University and Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development.

The congress provides a forum for young students and researchers to present their research work and discuss priority issues in enabling science and technology applications for public good.

The congress is open to students and researchers in the field of Physical, Biological, Chemical, Agriculture, Environmental and Social Sciences.

Details of the congress can be obtained from the websites of MSSRF (, SRM University (, Acharya Nagarjuna University ( and Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development ( For more details, please send your mails to


CSE invites application for its annual media briefing on Climate Change

New Delhi, India November 6-7, 2014

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), the New Delhi (India)-based research and advocacy organisation, invites applications from journalists to attend its Annual Media Briefing on Climate Change. The briefing will be held in New Delhi on November 6-7, 2014. It will bring together media people and experts from countries of the Global South to discuss and debate a range of contemporary issues covering the science, politics, negotiations and impacts of climate change.

CSE has been conducting this annual media meet - but only for South Asian journalists -- since 2009. This year, the event has been opened up to journalists from other countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

CSE will support the travel and accommodation of selected participants.

For any queries, please write to the following:
Souparno Banerjee Email: OR Papia Samajdar Email:


Room to Read

Literacy advocate wins Rubenstein prize, but teaching the world to read remains a challenge

Erin K. Ganju is one of those people. Nearly twenty years ago, she left her job with Goldman Sachs for a new life in Vietnam, a country that was just opening up to Western investment. After stints with Unilever and a few start ups, she changed course in 2001, and co-founded an organization with a mission to give all children a chance to get an education. In 2009, she became CEO of that organization.

On Wednesday 8 October 2014, she accepted the Library of Congress's prestigious David M. Rubenstein Prize on behalf of Room to Read for its "outstanding and measurable contributions" in reducing illiteracy around the world. Along with the prize, she accepted a $150,000 award.

With its slogan "World Change Starts with Educated Children," Room to Read is clearly an ambitious organization. It seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in the developing world by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. It began as Books for Nepal under the direction of John Wood, a former Microsoft executive, and Dinesh Shrestha, and it now operates as Room to Read in seven countries in Asia and three countries in Africa.

Room to Read's main goal is to teach the world's 126 million illiterate children how to read.

That's a daunting task.

But, as Ganju explained to me over the phone while taking time out from her preparation to receive the Rubenstein Prize, Room to Read isn't trying to change the world all at once.

It's working to change the world one book, one library, one school at a time.


ěpolicy for Young Leaders (St Xavier's, Mumbai)

Event Date: 05 Nov To 08 Nov 2014;
Venue: St Xavier's, Mumbai

ěpolicy for Young Leaders aims to reach out to undergraduates, graduates, post graduates and recent graduates who have just started working. CCS believes that such individuals hold the power to change the future, and because they are currently in a space where their belief and knowledge could be channelized and strengthened through exposure to ideas of a free society.


  • To create a fun, open, and respectful environment where everyone is encouraged to think critically about social, economic, and political issues.
  • To evoke in participants a passionate inquiry into their own values and role in creating a good society.
  • To equip participants with fundamental concepts of political economy and sound public policy to enable them understand the root cause of current challenges and effectively advocate for policy solutions through their current work and future professions.
  • To plug participants into a global network of opportunities to propel their intellectual growth, make personal connections and access resources to help them advance their vision of a free society.
  • Application link:

Email: -


home | link up with wfs | theme of the month | ngo newswfs services | archives | conferences | about us