GENESIS OF THE SOUTH ASIAN WOMEN’S NETWORKS
The Conference on “Women of South Asia: Partners in Development” was an initiative of Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. The first Conference was held in March 2009, inaugurated by Nobel Laureate Prof. Mohammad Yunus. The objective of this Conference has been to bring together in partnership women from across the countries of South Asia. The Conference established Seven South Asian Women’s Networks (SWANs) in order that women working in similar areas could network with their counterparts in other countries. Through these Networks they share experiences, learn from each other, identify best practices, and work towards issue-based collaboration across South Asia through agreed plans of action. Women work with their peers in their own sectors, and simultaneously reach out to other networks in an interactive way in order to achieve maximum results with minimum resources.
The seven South Asian Women’s Networks (SWANs) established during the first Conference covered the sectors of Arts and Literature; Crafts and Textiles; Education; Environment; Health, Nutrition and Food Security; Media; Micro-credit ; and the Women in Peacemaking.
The second conference was held in Chandigarh in March 2010 with the theme “Women Guiding the Destiny of South Asia”. At this Conference the eighth SWAN on Women in Media or the South Asia Women’s Network was established.The SWAN will give “Voice to the Voiceless
Each SWAN has its own Coordinator. Professor Veena Sikri, who holds the Ford Foundation endowed Chair (Bangladesh Studies Programme) at Jamia Millia Islamia, is the Convener of this Conference. Ms Nandini Sahai, Director, the International Centre, Goa, is the Coordinator for the SWAN on Women in Media.