The South Asia Women’s Network (SWAN) is a programme headquartered in The Academy of International Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, a Central University located in New Delhi (India). Professor Veena Sikri, who holds the Ford Foundation endowed Chair (Bangladesh Studies Programme) at the Academy of International Studies, is the Convener of SWAN.
SWAN emerged from the Conference on “Women of South Asia: Partners in Development”, organized at Jamia Millia Islamia on 30-31 March, 2009, with the support of ICCR and the South Asia Foundation (SAF). This Conference was inaugurated by Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, former Managing Director, Grameen Bank, Bangladesh.
The objective of this Conference has been to bring together, in partnership,women from across nine countries of South Asia : Afghanistan, Bangladesh,Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Thirty three women leaders and activists from across South Asia, including three Members of Parliament (from Afghanistan and Pakistan) working in similar areas could network with their counterparts in other countries where they can share experiences, learn from each other, identify best practices, and work towards issue-based collaboration across South Asia through agreed plans of action.
The eight SWANs covered the sectors of Microcredit; Education; Arts and Literature; Women in Peacemaking; Environment; Health; Crafts and Textiles and Media.
The Coordinators of the South Asia Women’s Networks (SWANs) are :
Professor Veena Sikri, Convener of the Conference and Coordinator of the SWAN on Arts and Literature.
Ms Shinkai Zahine Karokhail, Coordinator of the SWAN on Women in Peacemaking. Ms Karokhail is Member of the National Assembly of Afghanistan, and Member of the National Assembly’s Budget and Finance Committee.
Dr Mira Shiva, Coordinator of the South Asian Women’s Network on Health, Nutrition and Food Security. Dr Mira Shiva is Director, Initiative for Health, Equity and Society; and Founder Member, Diverse Women for Diversity.
K Choudhury, Coordinator of the SWAN on Education. Rasheda is Executive Director, CAMPE (Campaign for Popular Education), Dhaka (Bangladesh).
Ms Jaya Jaitly, Coordinator of the SWAN on Crafts and Textiles. Ms Jaya Jaitly is Founder and President of the Dastkari Haat Samiti, New Delhi.
Ms Shaheen Anam, Coordinator of the SWAN on Microcredit and Livelihood Development. Shaheen is Executive Director of the Manusher Jonno Foundation, Dhaka (Bangladesh).
Dr Vandana Shiva, Navdanya (Research Foundation for Science,Technology & Ecology), New Delhi (India), and Dr Uchita de Zoysa, Executive Director, Centre for Environment & Development (CED), Colombo (Sri Lanka), Co-Coordinators of the SWAN on the Environment
Ms Nandini Sahai, Coordlnator of the SWAN on Women in Media.Nandini is Executive Director, The International Centre, Goa and Founder Director, MICCI (Media Information and Communication Centre of India).