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Khushboo Sharma

IWB Blogger

This Women’s Day, IWB Taps South Asian Feminist Narratives & Gears Up For #CrossBorderDialogues

  • IWB Post
  •  March 8, 2019

Despite being one of the fastest growing regions of the world, South Asia still remains alienated from the rest of the world to a great extent. It continues being the exotic “other” owing to a plethora of reasons, its unique religious backdrop, volatile gender dynamics, and the complex political scenario being some of them.

Amidst all the external mystification and the lack of internal dialogue among its constituent nations, South Asia lies suspended in a muddle of confusion and indifference (resulting again from the lack of understanding).

Before we dismiss all this confusion and any potential endeavour to address it as unnecessary effort, it is imperative to understand that what happens in and with South Asia affects each one of its constituent nations equally. Thus, when we talk about the need to seek solutions, it becomes not a suggestion but rather an obligation.

It comes as but obvious that an urgent dialogue is the need of the hour and this Women’s Day Indian Women Blog has resolved to initiate the same. We have thus decided to tap the post-modern feminist narratives by transcending boundaries and extending the women’s cause beyond the country.

Owing to the diverse albeit rich cultural backdrop of the region, South Asian geopolitics remains unique in its own way. The culture, the religion, and the confusing international narratives have all amalgamated together to give birth to a politics unlike any other in South Asia.

More often than not here, culture and religion become effective tools for creating strict hegemonies and since we remain the mysterious orient to the rest of the world, it becomes rather confusing to ascertain when intervention is required and when it is not.

Thus, it is imperative that the ones who navigate through this complex mishmash of political ideologies become the mouthpiece and the interveners, too. Nobody knows it better than us and its time we speak for ourselves.

While the social and political movements in the West might inspire us, we need a system of our own to incorporate them as per our surroundings. Our triggers are different, our catalysts are different, our methods are different, and therefore it becomes imperative that our understanding of it must be different too. We cannot see ourselves from the lenses of the outsider like a narrative developed with only half-hearted efforts.

We also need to take in the consideration the fact that except the very few and scattered voices of women representatives and thinkers, the South Asian women’s narrative still lies in its nascent stage. And, all meanings and existence hold value only in relationship with their corresponding narratives. Thus, believe it or not, the women’s condition in India is constantly affected by the women’s condition around the world and especially by its South Asian counterparts.

IWB recognises that the need right now is to take charge of the situation and facilitate a dialogue among women representatives from South Asian nations like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, and Sri Lanka.

It is time that all of us get together and join hands in creating a collective discourse like never before. This woman’s history month, we have thus decided to conduct a series of Twitter dialogues which will last from March 15th to March 25th.

The idea is to get women thinkers together and brainstorm on the ideas of peace, women’s rights, and gender dynamics. We have already roped in women thinkers and intellectuals like the feminist writer and speaker Noorjahan Akbar, activist Mariam Wardak, founder of Mother Camp & Taj-Begum Restaurant, Laila Haidari, and Taliban attack survivor Habiba Ashna Marhoon.

The aim is to discuss all the burning South Asian issues from a women’s perspective so as to ascertain their position and problems in the scenario and then to join hands and pragmatically look for solutions. We seek to amplify these strong women’s voices, place them at the centre of the narrative, and then employ them to make light out of the chaos.

Rest assured, a lot of intellectual stimuli is coming your way as we roll our sleeves up and gear up for the expansive dialogues. Stay tuned for more!


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