KAMLA BHASIN / SANGAT SOUTH ASIAN FEMINIST NETWORK – SOUTH ASIA
A social scientist by training, I have been actively engaged with issues related to development, education, gender, media and several others for over 35 years. I began my work for the empowerment of the rural and urban poor in 1972, with a voluntary organization in Rajasthan, India. From 1976 to 2001, I worked with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN. My work with FAO’s Freedom from Hunger Campaign/Action for Development was focused on supporting innovative NGO initiatives for development and empowerment of marginalized people, especially women, in South East Asia and South Asia. This entailed organizing trainings and workshops and facilitating networking between NGOs, women’s organizations and people’s organizations.
Currently, I work with Sangat- A South Asian Feminist Network, as an Advisor; with JAGORI, Women’s Resource and Training Centre, New Delhi and Jagori Grameen in Himachal Pradesh as an active member. I am co-chair of the worldwide network, Peace Women Across the Globe and South Asia Coordinator of One Billion Rising.
Being deeply engaged with issues related to gender, development, peace, identity politics, militarization, human rights and democracy, I have explored, and continue to articulate, connections between different issues, and to promote synergies between different movements.
Over the years, I have been conducting participatory, experiential, capacity-building workshops for women and men, focused on gender, sustainable development and human rights. These workshops have been held at the local, national, and South Asian levels, for activists, senior policy makers, bureaucrats, Parliamentarians, police officers, U.N. staff etc. I have documented my training experiences in comprehensive reports, and shared them widely.
I have written extensively on gender, women’s empowerment, participatory and sustainable development, participatory training, media and communication. Most of my books are written for activists and development workers. I have also written a large number of songs and slogans for the women’s movement, books for children, and have created many posters and banners for different movements. Although I do not consider myself a good singer, I insist on singing passionately and spiritedly, wherever and whenever I can.