XXIV South Asian Feminist Capacity Building Course on
Gender, Sustainable Livelihoods, Human Rights and Peace
23 August to 23 September 2019
Tewa Center, Kathmandu, Nepal
The Feminist Capacity Building Course on Gender, Sustainable Livelihoods, Human Rights and Peace, also known as the Sangat Month Long Course, is designed to offer clarity on and a greater understanding of concepts related to gender, justice, poverty, sustainable development, peace, democracy and human rights. The course was founded in 1984. Thus far, 23 editions have been held through which more than 720 women activists and gender trainers, women’s studies teachers, journalists, lawyers, police officers, media women, and others have improved their conceptual capacities and sharpened/developed feminist perspectives. Many of these women are now in senior positions in various organizations and institutions, and several are conducting similar gender workshops and women’s studies courses in their own countries.
These courses have also led to effective networking amongst participants and their organizations.
These courses have been designed for women (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka), however, participants from Indonesia, Ghana, Sudan, Turkey, Myanmar, Vietnam, Palestine, and Iran have also attended them.
The main objectives of the course are:
- To create a pool of feminist activists committed to working on gender, justice, poverty, sustainable development, peace, democracy and human rights for all.
- To facilitate intensive dialogue and experience sharing amongst women development practitioners and trainers, human rights defenders, women’s studies teachers, media women, lawyers, etcetera.
- To offer participants an opportunity to increase their understanding of and sensitivity to a range of issues related to gender, justice, poverty, sustainable development, peace, democracy and human rights.
- To share information about and build feminist perspectives on ongoing processes of liberalization, globalization, militarization, identity politics, conflict transformation and peace building.
- To help participants increase their self-awareness and self-confidence, and enhance their analytical, communication, and training capacities.
- To strengthen networking and cooperation for advocacy, action, and organizing campaigns for gender, justice, poverty, sustainable development, peace, democracy and human rights.
- To strengthen women’s perspectives and movements.
Course participants have included non-governmental organization professionals, researchers, teachers, women’s studies teachers, artists, government officials, journalists, lawyers, trade unions representatives, among others.
Applicants to the Sangat Month Long Course are required to have:
- A background in and commitment to working on issues related to gender, justice, poverty, sustainable development, peace, democracy and/or human rights;
- A minimum of three years of work experience; and
- A good working knowledge of spoken and written English.
The course will accept a maximum of 40 participants. Please note that this course is only open to women.
DURATION, DATES, VENUE AND LANGUAGE
The course will be held at Tewa Centre at Dhapakhel, Lalitpur on the outskirts of Kathmandu, Nepal. This is a residential course, and all participants (including Nepalis) are required to reside at Tewa Centre for the full duration of the course.
The dates of the course are 23 August to 23 September 2019.
The working language of the course is English. Therefore, proficiency in written and spoken English is necessary.
The subjects the course will cover are listed below. However, exact topics will be determined based on the needs and interests of the participants and through discussions with the resource persons.
- Patriarchy, gender, and masculinity
- Feminism and the women’s movement
- Caste, class, race, sexual preferences, disabilities, minority identities, etcetera, and intersectionalities amongst these hierarchies
- The neo-liberal development paradigm and its impact on poverty and gender
- Sustainable livelihoods and development
- Climate change
- Entitlement frameworks, such as Right to Information, social audits, right to food and food sovereignty and right to livelihood – policies and programs for the most marginalized groups of communities
- Violence against women and girls including ideological underpinnings, legal frameworks, and alternative feminist jurisprudence and courts of justice
- The constitutional framework and secularism, growing fundamentalisms, communalization of identities, feminism and spirituality
- Women and peace
- Gender and education
- Self-awareness and self-growth
- Leadership and confidence building
- Gender and health, and the intersection of national health policy and multiple identities
- Physical, mental and emotional well-being and reproductive health
- Body politics, body literacy, and heteronormativity or the denial of the expression of multiple sexual identities
- Advocacy and campaign building
The course methodology is participatory and experiential, and guided by certain feminist principles of teaching and learning.
The course provides opportunities for participants to acquire and develop training skills through ‘learning by doing’. Participants are actively involved in deciding the daily schedule, planning and coordinating specific sessions, making presentations on issues, preparing learning materials and documenting the sessions. Attempts are made to minimize the formal divisions between ‘organizers’ and ‘participants’, the trainers and trainees. The emphasis is on group discussions and case presentations.
Relevant reading material will be identified and provided to participants.
In order to make the process lively and effective, songs, dance, music, plays, posters and films are used throughout the course.
Visits to local NGOs and women’s organizations are built into the course.
Participants are encouraged to participate in public events.
Yoga and other physical exercise are a part of the daily schedule.
Resource persons are knowledgeable feminist activists/scholars who are a part of women’s movements, and are committed to supporting processes of women’s empowerment and solidarity.
In prior years, the following individuals have served as resource persons:
- Bangladesh: Farida Akhtar, Khushi Kabir, Sultana Kamal, Sara Hossain, Rizwana Hassan, Amena Mohsin, Lubna Marium
- India: Kamla Bhasin, Abha Bhaiya, Martin Macwan, V. Rukmini Rao, Manisha Gupte, Nandita Shah, Nandita Gandhi, Deepa Dhanraj, Amrita Chhachhi, Lata Mani, Anjali Bharadwaj, Shankar Singh, Amrita Johri, Dipta Bhog, Nivedita Menon, Shabnam Virmani
- Nepal: Mina Acharya, Durga Ghimire, Sapana Pradhan-Malla, Saloni Singh, Mira Mishra, Renu Rajbhandari, Hisila Yami, Indira Shrestha, Rita Thapa, Mona Sherpa
- Pakistan: Rubina Saigol, Ambreen Ahmad, Nighat Said Khan, Maria Rashid, Azra Talat Sayeed, Asha Bedar
- Sri Lanka: Kumari Jayawardena, Sunila Abeyasekera (unfortunately, no longer with us in body)
Participants or their organizations are expected to pay for their travel to the course and USD 1,400 to cover the costs of food and lodging. Please note that Sangat does not charge a fee for the course itself.
Some fellowships to cover the costs of airfare, food, and lodging are available for applicants who are unable to raise funds to participate in the course. Please note that fellowships are limited and highly competitive. Applicants are strongly encouraged to raise their own funding, where possible. If you would like to apply for a fellowship, please send us a detailed letter that explains: 1) why you need a fellowship; and 2) why sponsoring you is important.
Please note that fellowships are not available for women from outside the South Asia region and selected candidates from outside of South Asia will need to raise their own funding to cover costs for travel, boarding, and lodging.
HOW TO APPLY
Applications should include:
2. Detailed Curriculum Vita (CV)
3. In case the applicant is not able to pay, a fellowship application in the form of a letter to be sent to Sangat detailing: 1) why you need a fellowship; and 2) why sponsoring you is important.
Note: Please ensure that you have a passport that is valid for at least one year before you apply for this course.
All selected candidates are requested to purchase health insurance from their own countries prior to their arrival, as well as pay for any medical costs incurred in Nepal. All participants are also requested to pay for their own visa fees and any local travel (from and to the airport) within their countries. Sangat will not bear these costs.
Nastasia Paul Gera, Coordinator, Sangat
Meenal Manolika, Assistant Coordinator, Sangat