WISCOMP has been a pioneer in initiating the discourse on women, peace, and security in South Asia. It was at the forefront of engaging with these issues, well before they found articulation in the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 in October 2000. WISCOMP’s work has converged with later international articulations on the role of women in building peace and security. Its pioneering efforts have yielded a robust network across borders and boundaries that highlight the leadership of women in the areas of peace and security—a space that was hitherto not fully encouraging of the participation of women.
WISCOMP draws on innovative and experiential pedagogies that synergize research, training, and practice. These are used to build linkages between individuals who work in the fields of education, gender studies, peacebuilding, public policy, law, and the creative arts. Its practice builds on a body of research that covers over 200 scholarly publications, reflecting cutting-edge ideas from the areas of international relations, feminist ethnography, educational philosophy, development and peace studies.
It is an initiative of the Foundation for Universal Responsibility, which was established with funds from the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to His Holiness The Dalai Lama in 1989. WISCOMP has drawn into its fold several vibrant regional networks that strive to translate the normative imperatives of UN global compacts such as the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women), and UN resolutions that impact on women’s roles in building peace, promoting justice, restoring rights, and fostering empathy.
Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP)
List of Events
(January 2018 – September 2018)
GENDERTALK: IMPRINTING PEDAGOGY
January 31, 2018 New Delhi
WISCOMP organized a workshop on ‘Gendertalk: Imprinting Pedagogy’ with students pursuing Masters’ degrees in Education and Early Childhood Education at the School of Education Studies, Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD) on January 31, 2018. Organized under WISCOMP’s ‘Ethicate: Ethics in Education’ program, the workshop was the first in a series of engagements with students and faculty at AUD on themes of gender justice, inclusion and compassion as part of a long-term sustained partnership. An innovative resource from WISCOMP’s Gender Training Package, an Exhibition-in-a-Bag called When Women Write... In Words and Pictures, was used which provided a context to critically engage with the continuum of violence that women face during their life cycle, while also highlighting narratives of courage, resistance and agency. The emphasis at this first workshop was on early childhood experiences.
PRAYAAS: KASHMIR CALLING
23 February 2018, New Delhi
WISCOMP facilitated a three-hour interactive workshop ‘Prayaas: Kashmir Calling’ with 15 college students and young professionals from Baramulla and Bandipora districts of Kashmiri in New Delhi on February 23, 2018. The participants were brought together through a collaboration between Pravah and Indo-Global Social Service Society (IGSSS), and were visiting New Delhi for a three-day Exposure Trip to build cross-cultural understanding through dialogue with youth and civil society organizations, capacity building workshops and heritage walks. The WISCOMP workshop provided a context for the participants to collectively reflect on the role of youth in processes of peacebuilding.
GENDER AND SOCIETY: THROUGH A NEW LENS
6 March 2018, Manav Rachna International University, Faridabad
To commemorate International Women’s Day, on 6 March 2018, WISCOMP conducted a half-day workshop with over 100 faculty members and students of the Department of Behavioral and Human Sciences, Manav Rachna International University, Faridabad. Dr. Anjali Bhatia, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology, Lady Shri Ram College for Women, University of Delhi, facilitated the workshop. The Workshop foregrounded key themes related to gender and society, using audio-visuals. The thrust of the workshop was to elicit views of the participants on the issues of construction, experience and representation of gender in national, global and historical contexts. Sites such as Sport, Cinema, Advertisements, Literature, Food and Nutrition and War were examined through the lens of gender and the grid of intersectionality. The aim of the workshop was to generate a thought provoking and stimulating discussion around the issues of gender inequality and violence, difference and discrimination; to raise consciousness and arrive at a dialectic.
7 March 2018, New Delhi
On the occassion of International Women’s Day, WISCOMP organized a Seminar 'Voice Studio' in collaboration with the 14th IAWRT Asian Women’s Film Festival on 7 March 2018 at India International Center, New Delhi. The Seminar brought together young women from urban and rural areas across the country to collectively reflect on their experiences of democratic engagements and articulations within educational spaces to inform cultures of gender equality and respect for diversity. Moderated by Vani Subramanium, the participants included Prajakta Shete from Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathawada University, Aurangabad; Shirisha Vepoor from Central University of Hyderabad; Lubna Irfan from Aligarh Muslim University; Sabika Abbas Naqvi from Pinra Tod Campaign; Ushasi Pal from Jadavpur University, Kolkata; Nikita, Ekta, Sujata, Palavi and Tannu from Rewari who were accompanied by their Sarpanch; and Satarupa Chakraborty from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
WOMEN WEAVING PEACE
7 March 2018, New Delhi
WISCOMP organized a Panel Discussion on ‘Women Weaving Peace’ on 7 March 2018 in New Delhi, as a part of the 14th IAWRT Asian Women’s Film Festival. The WISCOMP-IAWRT Panel Discussion brought together researchers and practitioners from diverse conflict contexts for a dialogue on the advocacy for women’s inclusion in peace negotiations, women’s contribution to conflict resolution and peacebuilding, strategies to cope with displacement and initiatives for building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions. The speakers included Rosemary Dzuvichu, Head, Department of English Nagaland University, Lubna Sayed Qadri, Founder of Initiative for Development Alternatives and Executive Director of School for Rural Development & Environment, and Dr. Sumona DasGupta, political scientist, researcher and independent consultant and also Senior Visiting Fellow with Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA). The discussion was moderated by Dr. Meenakshi Gopinath, Director WISCOMP.
GENDERTALK: LOOKING AT SOCIETY THROUGH A NEW LENS
12 March 2018, University of Delhi
WISCOMP delivered a Lecture on ‘GenderTalk: Looking at Society Through a New Lens’ at the Department of Germanic and Romance Studies, University of Delhi, New Delhi. Over 100 students who are pursuing Masters and Undergraduate degrees attended the lecture. Through her lecture, Dr. Anjali Bhatia, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Lady Shri Ram College, University of Delhi, foregrounded the distinction between gender and sex, and masculinity and feminity. She stressed upon the need to move beyond the binaries and acknowledge the diversity in the society.
ENGENDERING EDUCATION: A WORKSHOP WITH SOCIAL JUSTICE ANIMATORS OF THE EDMUND RICE SCHOOLS IN INDIA
May 28-29, 2018 St. Edmund’s College Shillong
WISCOMP conducted a two-day Workshop with 25 Social Justice Animators of the Edmund Rice Schools across India. The workshop aimed at building the capacities of school educators and students to counter gender-based discrimination and violence in India. The purpose of this Workshop was to assist the social justice animators in their efforts to engage with the subject of gender sensitization with students of Class 8 at the Edmund Rice schools.
GENDERSCAPE: WALKING THE TALK ON BUILDING WOMEN’S AGENCY
30-31 May, 2018 New Delhi
WISCOMP brought together a group of senior women peacebuilders and future women and men leaders from across Kashmir, Ladakh and Jammu, from diverse sectors including NGO, media, education, health and government, to create a collaborative space for sharing experiences, skill building and strengthening solidarities. Over two days, the participants engaged in trainings, reflection and conversations on understanding the continuum of violence and exclusion that women experience in private and public spaces; interrogating diverse notions of empowerment; walking through the maze of gender, agency and faith; deepening skills of networking for advocacy and transmission of concerns to policymakers; exploring the RTI as a tool for people’s empowerment and just governance; enhancing understanding of legal procedures to access justice; and strengthening solidarities among women’s formal and informal groups across different regions of Jammu and Kashmir.
July 2-3, 2018 Bluebells School International, New Delhi
WISCOMP organized a Workshop with 35 students of the Prefectorial Council at Bluebells School International, to build the capacities of young students to counter gender-based discrimination and violence in their schools, families and communities. Using creative and interactive methodologies of role-plays, group discussions, comics, open letters from social media, film clippings and videos, the students engaged with modules drawn from WISCOMP’s Handbook, En-gendering Education, on themes of Understanding Gender; Exploring Gender Discrimination, Socialization and Equality through the Lens of Popular Culture and Media; Recognizing Intersectionality and Different Form of Violence; Cross-Generation Conversations on Gender Equality; and Taking Constructive Action to Engender School Spaces as Youth Leaders.
VOICE, REPRESENTATION AND SEXUALIZED PORTRAYAL OF WOMEN IN MEDIA: A PANEL DISCUSSION
August 1, 2018 New Delhi
WISCOMP collaborated with Public Affairs Section, US Embassy and UChicago Centre in Delhi for a Panel Discussion. The Panel included presentations by Cristal Williams Chancellor, Director of Communications, Women’s Media Center, Washington, D.C. and Dipti Nath, Associate Professor, Lady Shri Ram College for Women, University of Delhi, New Delhi. They drew attention towards media campaigns and programming that emphasize gender equality and non-stereotyped gender roles of women and men as well as the resilience of stereotypical imagery of women as mothers and vamps in Hindi films. The discussion provided an opportunity for the participants to learn about recent research on the women’s portrayal and presence in the United States and in Hindi Cinema. The discussion was moderated by Prof. Ira Bhaskar, Professor, Cinema Studies, School of Art and Asthetics Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.
ENGENDERING HIGHER EDUCATION
August 2-3, 2018 Central University of Kashmir, Srinagar
WISCOMP conducted a Workshop titled Engendering Higher Education with over 35 Professors, Administration Staff and Research Scholars drawn from across departments. The workshop aimed at building the capacities of the participants, most of whom were members of the Internal Complaints Committee of the University, to engender the campus and lead collaborative efforts to implement zero tolerance policy towards sexual harassment and gender based violence with a lens of gender sensitivity, inclusion, compassion and justice.
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE, PEOPLE ON THE RUN: DISPLACEMENT, SECURITY AND GENDER IN SOUTH ASIA
7 September 2018, India International Centre Annexe
WISCOMP, an initiative of the Foundation for Universal Responsibility, and the Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group (MCRG), Kolkata, organized a Panel Discussion on ‘People on the Move, People on the Run: Displacement, Security and Gender in South Asia’ on 7 September 2018 in New Delhi. It was organized in collaboration with the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC) Network- South Asia and the India International Centre, New Delhi.
The mass exodus of the Rohingya from Myanmar in 2017 reignited a debate in South and South East Asia on issues of displacement, statelessness and the rights of refugees. A large number of Rohingya who crossed international borders were relegated to camps in Bangladesh, India and Thailand on the borders of Myanmar. Almost a year has passed and the plight of Rohingya remains largely unchanged as they languish in camps. Using the issues raised in a recent publication The Rohingya in South Asia: People without a State (Eds. Sabyasachi B. Ray Chaudhury & Ranabir Samaddar, Routledge, 2018), the WISCOMP-MCRG panel provided a space for discussion on the emerging issue of statelessness in South Asia.
The panel included eminent experts Prof. Ranabir Sammadar, Distinguished Chair in Migration and Forced Migration Studies, Calcutta Research Group; Prof. Paula Bannerjee, Vice Chancellor, Sanskrit University; Prof. Sabyasachi Ray Chaudhury, Vice Chancellor, Rabindra Bharti University; Prof. Sanjay Chaturvedi, Chairperson, Department of International Relations, South Asian University; and Ms. Rita Manchanda, Research Director, South Asia Forum for Human Rights, New Delhi.
INTERNATIONAL PEACE DAY
21 September 2018, New Delhi
To commemorate the International Peace Day on 21 September 2018, WISCOMP and Foundation for Universal Responsibility, in collaboration with STEP organized a ‘walk’, titled, ‘Seeking Peace and Coexistence through the Syncretic Traditions of Delhi: A Walking Exploration’, through the lanes of Nizamuddin in Delhi to historically unravel the notions of interfaith harmony and peaceful coexistence. Through interactive sessions and visits to various faith traditional spaces and monuments, the participants were encouraged to reexamine the idea of religion; what faith means to us; and how it interacts at each of the three levels of engagement — personal, social and cultural. This forms part of the larger discussion on religion and peace, to understand that if all religions espouse peace, then can different religions coexist peacefully. Some of the sites for visits included Humayun’s Tomb, Dum Duma Sahib Gurudwara, Chilla Khana, Nizzamuddin Dargah and Sai Temple.