Aug. 3, 12-2 pm: Women Building Peace Between India and Pakistan in Ottawa, Canada
(27 Jul 04) WOMEN BUILDING PEACE
BETWEEN INDIA AND PAKISTAN
When: 12-2 PM, Tuesday, August 3, 2004
Where: Room 1200 (12th floor), 1 Nicholas St., Ottawa
Ms. Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal,
executive editor, Kashmir Times
Ms. Ammu Joseph,
journalist and founder of Network of Women in Media
Ms. Rubina Saigol,
writer/researcher and member of Women Action Forum
Ms. Ammu Joseph, Ms. Rubina Saigol and Ms. Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal will be speaking about the role women are playing in their communities, in the media and on the political level for a lasting peace between India and Pakistan. The wars between India and Pakistan, the issue of Kashmir, and each country’s nuclear capabilities (made public in 1999) have stoked the conflict between these two countries.
Women suffer the consequences of conflicts they did not start, and then are excluded from peace negotiations and the peacebuilding processes that serve to formally end conflict. The enduring conflict between Pakistan and India is one such conflict. Human rights groups and democratic organizations such as the Pak-India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD) have stepped into the gap left by formal diplomacy over the past 10 years to develop people-to-people dialogues. Each year, hundreds of people meet in either India or Pakistan to talk about peace and building democratic institutions. Women have played a prominent role in such initiatives as “Talking Peace”.
In January 2004 the leaders of India and Pakistan met and discussed all outstanding issues, signaling a major shift in diplomatic relations and a significant breakthrough. The current moment is a critical juncture for South Asia and one in which Canada could play a significant role. Canada is a middle-power nation with significant economic, political, historical and cultural ties to both countries and a reputation for international peace-building and conflict resolution. Canada can play an important role in supporting the peace process between Pakistan and India, while ensuring that the rights of the people of Kashmir are promoted and protected. A sustainable peace agreement may require a shift in policy and programming priorities, with, for example, needs and opportunities for relevant programming interventions for women and girls in Kashmir.
Ms. Joseph is an independent journalist and media-watcher based in Bangalore, India. She writes mainly on issues relating to gender, human development, equity, peace and the media. She has written or co-authored four books: Terror, Counter-Terror: Women Speak Out, Storylines: Conversations with Women Writers, Women in Journalism: Making News and Whose News? The Media and Women’s Issues. In 2003, she received the Donna Allen Award for Feminist Advocacy by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication based in the United States. She participated in a United Nations Expert Group Meeting on Women and the Media in Beirut in November 2002 and represented the expert group on an official panel at the annual meeting of the UN Commission on the Status of Women in New York in March 2003. She is a founder and member of the Network of Women in Media, India, and co-editor of its website (www.nwmindia.org).
Ms Saigol is a freelance writer and researcher and contributes occasionally to local dailies. She has participated in alternative theatre used for consciousness raising and has been an active member of Women Action Forum in Lahore. She holds a doctoral degree in Educational Sociology from the University of Rochester, United States, and a Master’s of Arts degree in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University, United States. Her books on education include, Knowledge and Identity: Articulation of Gender in Educational Discourse in Pakistan, Symbolic Violence: Curriculum, Pedagogy and Society, Qaumiat, Taleem Aur Shanakht (Nationalism, Education and Identity) in Urdu, and Education: Critical Perspectives. She has published papers on religious intolerance in education and the construction of ‘enemies’ in social studies education. Her books on gender issues include, Locating the Self: Perspectives on Women and Multiple Identity (co-edited), Aspects of Women and Development (co-edited), Engendering the Nation-state Volumes I and II (co-edited) and Aurat Aur Mazahmat (Woman and Resistance) in Urdu. She has published papers on women and education, gender and militarization, effects of conflict on Afghan refugee women, and women and Mohajir ethnic conflict in Sindh. She recently completed papers on the state and the limits of counter terror in Pakistan and Sri Lanka and the effects of devolution on minority women in Pakistan. She is currently completing a project on the peasant women’s struggle for land rights in Pakistan.
ANURADHA BHASIN JAMWAL
Ms. Bhasin Jamwal is executive editor of Kashmir Times, the largest and oldest English daily in Jammu and Kashmir. During her fifteen years in the profession, Ms. Jamwal has worked and written extensively on the Kashmir conflict, focusing on the need for intra-state dialogue between India, Pakistan and the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Her work has also focused on issues of displaced people in Jammu and Kashmir, including border migration and land mines. She has participated in several women, peace and media workshops and conferences organised by South Asian Forum for Human Rights (SAFHR), South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA), Women in Security Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP), Calcutta Research Group and Kashmir Partners for Peace. Ms. Jamwal’s research paper on the media’s role on displaced people of Jammu and Kashmir was recently published by the Calcutta Research Group. She also writes fiction for children and adults. National Book Trust has published some of her short stories for children, and a collection of short stories for adults will soon be published. She is currently working on a collection of stories about lives disturbed by the unnatural partition of 1947, more than 50 years ago.