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Organization: Sangat, a South Asian feminist network
The following information may be cited or quoted as long as the source is accurately mentioned and the words are not taken out of context.
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Postal address of organization/institution

B-114, Shivalik Malviya Nagar, New Delhi 17

E-mail address of organization/institution


Website address of organization/institution


Telephone of organization/institution

011-2669 2166

PRIORITIES: All of the organization's domains of culture of peace activity


TOP PRIORITY: The organization's most important culture of peace activity


PARTNERSHIPS AND NETWORKS: What partnerships and networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the global movement for a culture of peace?

People's SAARC, South Asia Peace Alliance, Anhad (Act Now for Harmony and Democracy), Peace Women Across the Globe, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research, outh Asia Forum for Human Rights; Delhi Solidarity Group, Human Rights Law Network,. Wada Na Todo Abhiyan,  NAPM; Narmada Bachao Andolan; PEACE; PUCL;PUDR, Women and Media Collective (Sri Lanka)

ACTIONS: What activities have been undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the ten years of the Decade? If you already made a report in 2005, your information from 2005 will be included in the 2010 report.

The following is taken from the website, http://sangatsouthasia.org/activities

Given below are the highlights of the main activities organised and/or supported by Sangat:

South Asian courses/workshops

Month-long capacity building course on gender, sustainable development, peace and human rights

Participants at the annual workshop on gender, sustainable livelihoods, human rights and peaceTill date, Sangat has organised 13 annual month-long courses, each one of which has trained about 35 women development workers, lawyers, media persons and university teachers. The participants were from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Turkey. The courses are run by a team of resources persons drawn from different South Asian countries.

These courses help the participants develop a strong gender and human rights perspective on major development issues in South Asia, which they take to their organisations. These courses have strengthened South Asian solidarity and networking. The alumnae of these courses have remained in touch with each other and cooperated in many cross-border activities every year.

Two-country, local language training courses on gender, livelihoods, human rights and peace


Sangat has organised courses in Bangla language for activists from West Bengal and Bangladesh. These were jointly organized by Sangat Regional, Sangat Bangladesh and Swayam. Action Aid and Oxfam GB in Bangladesh supported the courses. Held in India and in Bangladesh, each of these courses were attended by 25-30 development workers/activists, including men.

The course covered topics such as gender, femininity and masculinity, feminisms, patriarchy, violence and law, reproductive rights, communalism, fundamentalism, globalisation and so on. Exercises, presentations, lectures, and open discussions were the different modes of teaching.


Sangat has also organised a feminist capacity-building course in Tamil for Sri Lankan and Indian activists in the southern Indian town of Mahabalipuram, India. This ten-day course was planned by Sangat in collaboration with INFORM, Women and Media Collective and Oxfam GB (from Sri Lanka) and IWID (from India).

15 activists from different organizations in Sri Lanka and 12 from Tamil Nadu attended the
course. The resource persons were experienced feminist activists and scholars from Sri Lanka
and India. Several documents were translated into Tamil, and several new banners and
posters made especially for this course.

Many more two-country courses are in the offing. For more information, please write to us at sangat@sangatsouthasia.org

South Asian thematic workshops/conferences

Expressing solidarity.JPGSangat has organised, supported and participated in a large number of South Asian workshops and conferences aimed at developing a shared perspective on major issues related to sustainable livelihoods, gender equality, democracy, human rights etc. All of them were done in collaboration with one or two partners. Some of the recent ones are mentioned below.

* National workshop on women's land rights with special focus on single women
* ‘Looking afresh at VAW through an exploration of the political economy of VAW and masculinity’ (a South Asian workshop organised by Sangat in collaboration with the Indian Association of Women’s Studies)
* An international course on gender identity, peace and conflict
* South Asian Feminist Meet; organised by Sangat with the support of Women and Media Collective, Sri Lanka, the meet also formulated a South Asian Feminist Declaration
* International workshop on normative and non-normative sexualities, sexual rights and women’s empowerment was organised jointly by Kartini, Jagori Grameen and Sangat.
* South Asian workshop on women’s rights to land and other land-based resources was organised by Sangat with the support of Women and Media Collective and Action Aid International Asia.
* ‘Future of Asian Feminisms: confronting fundamentalisms, conflict and neo-liberalisms’ was organised by Kartini and supported by Sangat.  
* First Asian Rural Women’s Conference for Rights Empowerment and Liberation.
* South Asian Conference on Women and Biodiversity

National thematic trainings/workshops/lectures

Sangat has supported several national workshops and trainings in different countries by identifying resources persons and providing teaching materials. To mention just a few, Sangat supported Shtrii Shakti in Nepal to organise a series of training-of-trainers; Aurat Foundation and ROZAN in Pakistan; colleges in Chandigarh, a convention on Gram Swaraj in West Bengal, a Muslim women’s reflection retreat organised by SAHRWARU, Ahmedabad, a large A Sangat-organised session on engaged Buddhismgathering of peasant women by DISHA, Saharanpur in India. Sangat also organised several public lectures in India by several national and international scholars and activists.

Besides, Sangat organises lectures on various themes that interest women activists such as on Engaged Buddhism and Feminist Activism, the Sacred and the Secular and so on.

Support to campaigns

Sangat has supported many campaigns/processes in the region over the last several years. Some of those are listed below:

   16 days of activism against violence against women’ Campaign (25 November to 10th December)

   International Peace Day (21st September)

   International Human Rights Day (10th December)

   Multi-faith pilgrimage of compassion for the unborn girl child

   Asia Social Forum, World Social Forum and Feminist Dialogues

   Campaigns against war and nuclear weapons and for peace

   Navdanya Farmers’ March (April 2008)

   People’s SAARC (Nepal, Sri Lanka and India; in 2006, 2007 and 2008)

   Disarmament to Combat Poverty

   Drafting a women’s manifesto for political parties in India and Bangladesh

   Campaigns for the rights of minorities (In 2007-2008, when Christians were terrorized in Orissa, Sangat joined hands with several Christian groups to protest against these acts of terror and violation of human rights by organising several protest marches and conventions. Similarly, Sangat co-organised several activities to protest against attacks on Muslims and Dalits).

South Asian Women’s Day

A large gathering of students in DelhiThe South Asian Women’s Day is a creation of the Sangat network and one of its biggest celebrations to engage women with and mark their role in peace, justice, human rights and democracy.  The day has been celebrated started in 2002.

Like for most of its campaigns, Sangat works with various other civil society organisations in India and the South Asian region for the South Asian Women’s Day. In 2007, the day was celebrated across the region by 30 like-minded organisations. In 2008, as many as 60 organisations actively participated in organising events and programmes for the day. The significance of A dance performance by a group of young men from Afghanistanthe day in India could not be emphasized more in the aftermath of the increasing violence in South Asia in the last few years.

Men and women collected in many cities and towns of South Asia (India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka) to light candles at the same time in the evening to express solidarity with the people of the region, and demand democracy and peace.


Facilitating an Indo-Pak peace delegation and organising a ‘no war’ signature campaign

To enhance friendship between the neighbours – India and Pakistan – Sangat regularly conducts, organises or supports a variety of programmes in the form of seminars, lectures, cultural events and so on.

A peace delegation from PakistanAs the war-mongering in India and Pakistan raised its pitch (after the brutal attacks in Mumbai, Sangat co-organised many events to counter it, such as a joint signature campaign between the two countries. It also facilitated the visit of a 24-member strong Pakistani peace delegation to India in an effort to defuse tensions between the two nuclear armed Asian rivals.
The delegation comprised human rights activists, former diplomats, politicians, artists and senior journalists.  The peace delegation held meetings with representatives of Indian civil societies, politicians, lawyers and journalists to ease tensions and to seek solutions to all outstanding issues through dialogue.

Collaboration with and support to regional and global networks

Sangat collaborated with the global project 1000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005. Kamla Bhasin was invited to be the South Asia Coordinator of this fascinating project. Sangat helped in identifying 157 South Asian women. This was by far the largest number for any region. Sangat got detailed profiles of 157 women written and their photographs taken for a 2,200 page book titled 1000 Peacewomen Across the Globe. The book contains profiles of all 1000 women nominated the world over.

Sangat also produced a powerful 60-minute long film entitled Redefining Peace: Women Lead the Way and two other films. Although these 1000 women were not given the Nobel Prize, the Project achieved its objective of making women’s peacework visible and recognised. It popularised a comprehensive definition of peace, initiating research on peacewomen and generally strengthening the global peace movement. Kamla Bhasin is presently the global Co-Chair of Peace Women Across the Globe and Sangat continues to be an active part of this global initiative.

South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR)

Sangat works closely with SAHR in order to hold public meetings and conventions with human rights and peace activists from South Asia.

People’s SAARC is a large South Asian network of CSOs promoting South Asian solidarity for a pro-people agenda. Sangat collaborates closely with this network and Kamla Bhasin is one the Steering Committee.

INSA (Imagine New South Asia) is another important initiative trying to influence official policies affecting people in South Asia. Sangat has supported and partnered in two Policy Dialogues of INSA held in 2007 and 2008 respectively.

Cultural solidarity across borders

To reach out to youth, students and larger sections of society with our messages, many cultural events comprising feminist plays, music gatherings, films, demonstrations have been organized during the last decade. Through these cultural events, we were able to reach the general public with our messages of peace, solidarity and cooperation across borders.

Sangat hosted several Pakistani and Bangladeshi activities in India. In association with India’s leading academic institution, the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Sangat organised the staging of a Pakistani play based, Bullah, based on the life of a Sufi mystic who preached love, peace and tolerance. The play attracted a big audience (nearly 45 people) and a packed auditorium, besides raving applause.

Sangat also pitched in to sponsor the performance of Shafi Faqir, a Manghaniar from Sindh, Pakistan, in New Delhi on 2nd March 2009. This was made possible by a collective effort. Initiated by the Pakistan India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy, the event was facilitated by other NGOs such as ANHAD, Kriti Team and People Tree.

Promoting feminist perspectives through culture

Sangat sponsored the staging of the play, Traitors, to mark the month of August (infamous for the Hiroshima and Nagasaki days on 4th and 9th of August respectively) with the message of peace, love and women’s rights in Delhi. Buoyed by the success of the response the play received (by the audience and the media), Sangat facilitated the staging of the play in Pakistan as well.

To honour the life-long contributions of K.G. Kannabiran, noted civil rights activist and Vasanth Kannabiran, writer and well-known women’s activist, Sangat hosted a felicitation ceremony in Delhi. The event attracted nearly 400 people, comprising people who have known and/or admired this activist couple for their selfless work.

The ceremony was followed by the staging of Menakaa, a dance-ballet that teases out a feminist interpretation of age-old myths about women and the violence in their lives. The programme was very well-received by the audience.

PROGRESS: Has your organization seen progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of action and in your constituency during the second half of the Decade?

As far as Sangat's work goes, we have made progress in involving women in the work of feminist capacity building  in our work in the last two decades. More and women in the six countries  of South Asia have been helped with our courses which help them understand patriarchy and its inter-linkages with the state, skewed development, market fundamentalism and the increasing securitisation of tyhe lives of the poeples of South Asia.

OBSTACLES: Has your organization faced any obstacles to implementing the culture of peace and nonviolence? If so, what were they?

Lack of funds

The global increase in acts opf terror and violence, especially seen in South Asia

The increasing neo-liberal agenda and policies in the global south

PLANS: What new engagements are planned by your organization in the short, medium and long term to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence?

Sangat will continue  to work with women in South Asia to increase and strengthen their understanding of social, political and economic scenarios. Our work with the Indo-Pak Peace dialogue and Poeple's SAARC will increase.

GLOBAL MOVEMENT: How do you think the culture of peace and nonviolence could be strengthened and supported at the world level??

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Organization: Sangat, a South Asian feminist network

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