Sunday, November 30, 2008

Did you know? Today is South Asian Women's Day!

Just received this:

Press Release

"I urge all young women across South Asia to use this critical moment to raise their voice against the mindless violence we witnessed in Mumbai," stated Sahar Khan, a Delhi University Day on the occasion of a public event to celebrate South Asian Women's Day

New Delhi; 30th November, 2008: Having designated 30th November as the South Asian Women's Day, the significance of this event in the aftermath of the Mumbai tragedy cannot be lost. Every year this day is marked and celebrated by listening to the voices of South Asian women about their belief in peace, justice, human rights and democracy. 2008 is no exception.  Women and men representing nearly 40 organizations ofDelhi gathered to mark the day strengthen among South Asian people the spirit of bonding and oneness that we so desperately need in this hour of deep crisis and unimaginable destruction.

Speaking about this event, Kamla Bhasin, a founder member and Advisor of SANGAT, a South Asian regional network, stated that five years ago many of them in the women's movement decided to focus on the need to build peace in the region. "Today we are being challenged on many fronts and the brutality that we are presently witnessing in Mumbai is a grim reminder of the manner in which the people of the region are being torn apart, emotionally traumatized, and trapped in a vicious cycle of hate, intolerance and distrust," she added.

Sharing their experience, Wajida Tabassum, Secretary, Centre for Alternative Dalit Media stated that in the region as a whole if governments and society want to fight against divisive forces, "it is essential to mainstream the concerns of women from marginalized communities such as dalits and minorities," she added

Representing the young people, Sahar Khan a Delhi University student urged all young women to use this critical moment to raise their voice against the mindless violence that was perpetuated in the last few days of Mumbai. "We must use occasions like the South Asian Women's Day to condemn such acts of violence, strengthen peace and rise above all kinds of disagreements and differences that divides the region and makes it prone to the worst forms of violence and social injustice.

Reaching out to the women's organizations, representatives of leading corporate bodies such as CII and stakeholders such as the media, extended to their solidarity to the meeting.  Speaking on behalf of CII, Mr. Vikram Badshah, Head of Public Policy,   Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) stated that: "It is time for all Indians to realize that not only the nation but the region is at stake and we must all stand united in the search for regional peace and harmony."  

Speaking on the media and civil society partnership in this trying hour, Sagarika Ghose, Senior Editor, CNN-IBN, stated that as a channel they were prepared to be part of any civil society initiative that seeks to strengthen the fight for justice, tolerance and build a strong united front against anyone who wants to divide us or weaken our resolve as a cohesive nation, region and society.

Young South Asian students, people from the local community, representatives from the Muslim Women's Forum and activists from various organisations will be present to share and inspire. Noted singer, Vidya Shah, will perform along with many other cultural groups.

For more information, please contact: Sangat: 26692166; 98100 73245                       
Jamia Millia Islamia: Outreach Programme at 26980090 and Sarojini Naidu Centre for Women's Studies at 2698 7417 

South Asian Women's Day organised in Delhi by:

Action Aid India, Aditi College, Amnesty International, ANHAD, Ankur, Bharti College, Burma Centre Delhi, Chelsea, CADAM, CFAR, Delhi Forum, Delhi Solidarity Group, Himachal Jagori, HRLN, Jagori, Jamia Millia Islamia (Dept. of History, Dept. of Sociology, Dept. of Social Work, MCRC, Outreach Programme, Radio Jamia FM and Sarojini Naidu Centre for Women's Studies), JNU (Foreign Students' Association), Kriti, Manzil, Manas, Muslim Women's Forum, NACDOR, North-East Network, OneWorld South Asia, Peace Women Across the Globe, Praxis, SAHR, Sangat, Tibetan Women's Association, Wada Na Todo Abhiyan, Women's League of Burma, Vikasini


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