Mumbai: National Dalit And Adivasi Women’s Congress, Feb 15-16

CONCEPT NOTE
(http://www.dalitweb.org/?p=1498)

What does it mean to be a Dalit woman, an Adivasi woman? At this conference, which is conceptualized, organized and co-ordinated by Dalit and Adivasi women , we frame these fundamental questions along with questions of the community and society at large. We examine the categories of Tribe, Caste and Gender from the viewpoints of Dalit and Adivasi women – a natural extension is to interrogate their intersections with each other and with other categories. We aim to contextualize our historical and continuing assertions against all forms of oppression and place them within a framework of social movements; as women leaders, participants and coordinators engaged in a process of social action.

For Dalit and Adivasi women assembling at this congress it has become imperative to think of innovative ways of reconstructing histories of resistance to patriarchal controls within our communities and build on the feminist legacies of our ancestors, elders and peers. Patriarchy within the community has always been questioned and resisted, as is evident in the pithy sayings, songs and poems of our foremothers. In this context, how do we document our oral traditions that were aimed at displacing the grip of patriarchy on Dalit and Adivasi women? How do we document our present questions against male domination within the community? Extraction of feminist articulation from oral and written traditions into the digital medium is already a vibrant activity, which even in its nascent stages has enabled several Dalit and Adivasi women to locate familiar feminist traditions within their own communities and take a critical look at received wisdom from mainstream articulations of women’s rights.

Leadership has predominantly been in the hands of men, and in a variegated society of castes and tribes, patriarchal leadership is caught in power struggles with other communities. Thus leadership becomes empty of meaning for Dalit and Adivasi women as hardly any positive change comes to the community from these perpetual male – male conflicts for inter – intra community leadership. As Dalit and Adivasi women, all our pursuits are rooted in the vision of emancipation of the community, the concept of leadership therefore is one that offers maximum returns to the entire community.

This conference will focus on mapping the extreme margins of Dalit and Adivasi women as citizens of a modern state. It aims to understand the role of education in the emancipation of Dalit and Adivasi women; the stake of Dalit and Adivasi women in the process of development and displacement; globalization- its challenges, opportunities and state retreat; and the role of Dalit and Adivasi women in contemporary politics.

We have envisaged creating a platform for the Dalit and Adivasi women, recognizing their presence in academics, science, media etc.,to discuss – commonalities and differences in their struggle against oppression due to their identity as Dalit or Adivasi women; ideological issues that foreground and undermine their struggle for equality and justice and the possibilities of overcoming such issues or differences. The conference objectives include working on a road map that brings Dalit and Adivasi women to work together on issues by building on limited and sparse resources and innovative use of technology at all stages.

We would like to detail the fact that although Dalit and Adivasi women share commonalities in labour and resource management under constrained conditions due to the marginal status of our communities, they cannot be viewed within a single frame. They belong to two different categories with different histories. This conference would be a platform to share their concerns from their own perspective, and look for common ties between the two communities which can further be extended, as most often their issues are seen in isolation. In doing so there is a clear ignorance of the fact that the common background of their issues is immense oppression, exploitation, exclusion and discrimination. The larger goal of this conference is to bring together academicians, activists, writers, poets, scholars and artists from the Dalit and Adivasi communities to have a meaningful discussion on the mentioned themes.

Within the overarching framework of Dalit and Adivasi Women’s Realities and Movements, there will be Thirteen Thematic Congressional Sessions as detailed below:

1. Unraveling Caste, Tribe and Patriarchal Intersections
2. The Politics of Patriarchal Language, Culture and Religion in the Lived: Reading Between the Lines
3. Fighting Rape, Sexual Violence and Atrocities against Dalit and Adivasi Women
4. Education of Dalit and Adivasi Women: Confronting Marginalization and Invisibility
5. Contributions of Savitribai Phule, Jotiba Phule and Babasaheb Ambedkar to the Women’s movement in India
6. Reassembling the notions of Labour: From Dalit and Adivasi Women’s Lived Experiences
7. What is Academia and Where Are We: Experiences of Dalit and Adivasi Women in Academia
8. De constructing Professions: The Experience of Dalit and Adivasi Women Professionals
9. Dalit and Adivasi Women in Legislature and Indian Politics
10. Dalit and Adivasi Students Movements: Our Position, Our Contribution
11. The Politics of Empowerment : Unraveling Realities of Dalit and Adivasi Women in the Development Sector
12. Challenging the layered constructions of Dalit and Adivasi Women in Mass Media
13. Poems & Poets : Radical Dalit and Adivasi Women’s Outrage against Multiple Oppression

NATIONAL ORGANIZING COMMITTEE

· Manju Rao, Senior Research Scholar, Lucknow University
· Madhuri Xalxo, Advocate, Jamshedpur, Jharkhand
· Harpreet Kaur, Advocate, Delhi
· Ashwini Shelke, Research Scholar, JNU
· Manipal Sandhu, Research Scholar, Panjab University, Chandigarh
· Ashwini KP, Research Scholar, JNU
· Vaishali Bhandwalkar, Activist, NIRMAN
· Minakshee Rode, Researcher, Pune University
· Neetisha Xalxo, Research Scholar, JNU
· Sunita Munda, DTSW International Collective, Jharkhand
· VP Gomati, DTSW International Collective, Tamil Nadu
· Muthamizh Kalai Vizhi, DTSW International Collective, Australia
· Vibhawari Kamble, DTSW International Collective, Delhi
· Dashisha Rumnong, DTSW International Collective, Meghalaya
· Prachi Beaula R, DTSW International Collective, JNU, Delhi
· Pradyna Bhim Jadhav, DTSW International Collective, Maharashtra
· Rashmi Verbena Birwa, DTSW International Collective, Jharkhand
· Akriti Thami, DTSW International Collective, Darjeeling
· Manju Priya, DTSW International Collective, Tamil Nadu
· Anoop Kumar, Director, Insight Foundation, Delhi
· bodhi s.r , Faculty, Centre for Social Justice and Governance, TISS, Mumbai

Delegates receiving formal invitations may please contact the following for hospitality and accommodation:

Phone:
Pradyna: (Mumbai) | 9821635776
Manju: (Mumbai) | 9403636317
Manju: (Lucknow) | 09919370573
National Dalit and Adivasi Students Helpline (New Delhi) | 09999484249
Land line (TISS Mumbai) | 022 25525415

Email: ndawc2013@gmail.com

Please visit the Department website for the announcement and Concept Note

Courtesy: TISS, Insight and DTSW International Forum