SWAN’s Strategy Planning Workshop in collaboration with Maldivian Network on Women’s Rights

SWAN’s Strategic Planning Workshop
organized by South Asia Women’s Network (SWAN)
in collaboration with
Maldivian Network on Women’s Rights (MNWR)
Male, 19-22 June, 2013 



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 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 objective of bringing together, in partnership, women from across nine countries of South Asia : Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. SWAN provides women leaders and activists from across South Asia a unique forum to network and work 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. In order to facilitate this process, eight sector networks, also called SWANs, have been formed. These cover the sectors of Livelihood Development and Entrepreneurship; Education; Arts and Literature; Women in Peacemaking; Environment; Health, Nutrition and Food Security; Women in Media; and Crafts and Textiles.

SWAN’s Kathmandu Declaration, issued on 18th July 2012 at the end of its Fourth Annual Conference, initiated work on the Roadmap for Sustainable Development for the Women of South Asia, with the objective of empowering the women of South Asia to lead the transition to sustainability.

The Rio + 20 outcome document ‘The Future we Want’ has failed to recognize and accept the centrality of gender equity in the context of sustainable development. Gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment have proven to be accelerators in the process of development and inclusive growth, accepted as such in the evaluation by UNDP of the progress (or lack of it) in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These should be included as cross-cutting priority issues in all future development goals, and be recognized as a stand-alone priority issue as well. There should be a combined focus on the social, economic and political empowerment of women.

In all societies, women and children are the most seriously affected by domestic violence, discrimination in access to and control over resources and services, and the negative impact of all conflict situations, whether national, regional or international. Women’s rights must be supported, including as enshrined in CEDAW and the relevant Security Council resolutions (especially 1325). The rights based approach should place women at the centre of development and conflict resolution, and recognize their role as agents of change.

SWAN agreed that, rather than settling for rehashed, generalized MDGs, SWAN will work towards developing a new paradigm of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will recognize the centrality of women’s role in every aspect of sustainability and accept the need for a rights based approach in finalizing the post-2015 agenda. Sustainable development must be recognized as the fundamental basis for the post-2015 development framework. Structural changes are needed, together with a comprehensive set of SDGs, to overcome poverty and deprivation, inequality and insecurity, and the multiple converging crises of food, fuel, finance and climate change caused by the current development model that is rooted in unsustainable production and consumption patterns, combined with the foisting of inappropriate technologies on developing economies. There should be corporate accountability, redress for damage and independent assessment of risks and damages from new and old technologies and corporate activities.

 These structural changes must recognize and bring on board concepts of sustainable livelihood like Gross National Happiness, inclusive growth and welfare in harmonious balance with the ecological limits of planet Earth. Many such concepts are embedded in the traditions and cultures of South Asia, practiced by indigenous communities for millennia. The post-2015 agenda should build upon, support and enhance the resilience of such traditional practices. In formulating SDGs, regional diversities and needs should be accepted and accommodated within the overarching universal goals.

SWAN’s strategic approach to developing the Roadmap, as enshrined in the Kathmandu Declaration, is based on partnership (including through institutional networks) for advocacy, leadership development and capacity building for change at all levels. The structure for implementation is through a series of workshops in identified areas covering each of the eight sectoral SWANs. These workshops are not ends in themselves : rather, they are the chosen methodology for creating consensus among the women of South Asia on policy recommendations, and on capacity building through the train the trainers approach. An important objective of each workshop is to conceptualize its link with the SDG relevant to the theme of the workshop. These workshops are the building blocks towards developing the Roadmap and agreeing upon the SDGs for the women of South Asia. Among the targets that has been discussed is for SWAN, through these Workshops held over the next three years, to train 100,000 women across South Asia on SDGs and how to attain them, as relevant to their respective areas of activity.

SWAN is a shared aspiration. The SWAN Strategic Planning Workshop actively discussed priorities and focus areas for inclusion in SWAN’s Mission and Vision statement, delineating the preparations for the Roadmap for Sustainable Development for the Women of South Asia, and the modalities for its implementation. SWAN’s Strategic Planning Workshop has been a critical event to plan the Roadmap and align SWAN’s activities within the emerging post-2015 sustainable development agenda. As such, SWAN’s Strategy Planning Workshop has provided vital and key inputs in the preparation of SWAN’s Roadmap.

The participants in this strategy meeting included the eight SWAN network coordinators and key experts on sustainable development from across South Asia. The methodology for the workshop was roundtable discussions through planned sessions. The participants in this workshop, and the schedule of discussions, is listed below.

SWAN organised this workshop in collaboration with the Maldivian Network on Women’s Rights.

Agenda for SWAN’s Strategic Planning Workshop

Bandos Resort, Maldives, 20-21 June 2013
Wednesday 19th June 2013 :

Arrival of delegates
Thursday 20th June 2013 :

0900 : Inaugural Session:

  1. Welcome Address by Fathimath Afiya, Maldivian Network on Women’s Rights
  2. “Introduction to SWAN’s Roadmap for Sustainable Development” by Professor Veena Sikri, Convener, SWAN
  3. Inaugural Speaker from Maldives : Dr Mariyam Shakeela, Minister for Science and Gender, Government of Maldives
  4. Vote of Thanks

0930 :  Coffee Break

 1000 : Session 1: Stating the Issues

  1. “Empowerment of Women through Crafts and Textiles” Jaya Jaitly, Founder President, Dastkari Haat Samiti, New Delhi, India (12 minutes)
  2. “Participatory Governance and the Role of Local Self-Government : Strategy for the Women of South Asia” by Deepak Dorje Tamang, CEO, Search Nepal (12 minutes)
  3. “Gross National Happiness and the Women of South Asia” Namgay Zam, Bhutan Broadcasting Service Corporation, Thimphu, Bhutan (12 minutes)
  4. “Climate Change and Sustainable Development in the Post-2015 Agenda” Uchita de Zoysa, Executive Director, Centre for Sustainable Development, Colombo, Sri Lanka (12 minutes)
  5. Question and Answer

1130 : Session 2: SWAN Strategies on Strengthening Gender Equity in Sustainable Development

  1. “Education and Empowerment for the Women of South Asia” Mrs. Kumari Hapugala Perera, Principal and Owner, Alethea International School, Dehiwala, Colombo, Sri Lanka (12 minutes)
  2. “Education for Gender Equity in South Asia” Archana Dwivedi, Nirantar, New Delhi, India (12 minutes)
  3. “Sustainable Development Goals for the Women of Myanmar” Shwe Shwe Sein Latt, Director, Phan Tee Eain, Yangon, Myanmar (12 minutes)
  4. “Financial Access for Women’s Empowerment through Entrepreneurship”  Achla  Savyasachi, Vice President, Sa-Dhan, New Delhi, India (12 minutes)
  5. ‘Sustainable Development Goals in Crafts and Textiles” Madiha Kazi, Thardeep Rural Development Programme (TRDP), Karachi, Pakistan (12 minutes)
  6. Discussions and Q & A

1300 : Lunch  

1400 : Session 3 : Strategy on Post 2015 SDG’s for South Asian Women

  1. “Sustainable Development in the Post-2015 Agenda” by Mome Saleem, SDPI (Sustainable Development Policy Institute), Islamabad, Pakistan (12 minutes)

2.. “Sustainable Energy for All, with Particular Focus on the Women of South Asia” Namiz Musafer, Country Manager, Practical Action Consulting, Colombo, Sri Lanka (12 minutes)

3.. “Health Issues for Gender and Sustainable Development in South Asia” Indira Shrestha , Shtree Shakti, Kathmandu, Nepal (12 minutes)

  1. “Malnutrition and Food Security for the Women (and Children) of South Asia” Dr Shamim Imam, Manusher Jonno Foundation, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  2. “Sustainable Development Goals for the Women of Afghanistan” Ms Manizha Wafeq, Board Member, Afghan Women’s Network, Kabul. Afghanistan(12 minutes)
  3. Discussions and Q & A

1530 : Coffee and tea Break

1600 : Session 4 : Media, Culture and Social Issues

  1. “Role of Women in Media for Sustainable Development” Nandini Sahai, Director, The International Centre, Goa, India(12 minutes)
  2. “Women in Media Can make a Difference” Mariana Baabar, Diplomatic Editor, The News, Rawalpindi, Pakistan(12 minutes)
  3. “Women in media : their role in Bhutan, including on issues like Violence Against Women” Namgay Zam, Bhutan Broadcasting Service Corporation, Thimphu, Bhutan(12 minutes)
  4. “The Role of Women in Curbing Important Social Evils like Drug-Addiction : the Work of SWAD” Fathimath Afiya, Maldivian Network on Women’s Rights, Maldives
  5. “Culture and Sustainable Development” Professor Veena Sikri, Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi, and Convener (SWAN), India (12 minutes)
  6. Discussions with the Media, and Question and Answer

Friday, 21st June 2013

0900 : Closed Door Meeting on SWAN’s Organizational Strategy for the Sustainable Development Roadmap

       In-house discussions among SWAN members on their Vision and Mission Statement :

(i)    Key goals and challenges in preparing SWAN’s Roadmap for Sustainable Development.

(ii) Sector-wise discussion of target areas in formulating Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

(iii)    Key strategies to achieve SWAN’s Roadmap for SD

(iv)   Key plans of the SWAN Networks and Convergence Strategies

(v)  Resourcing SWAN and Strengthening the Networks

(vi) How best to organize SWAN for the future?

  1. Conclusion/ Release of the SWAN statement

 Saturday, 22nd June 2013

Departure of Delegates

New Delhi, 12th June 2013

South Asia Women’s Network (SWAN) and Maldivian Network on Women’s Rights (MNWR)

MALDIVES, 19-22 JUNE, 2013


 Afghanistan :

  1. Ms Manizha Wafeq, Board Member, Afghan Women’s Network, Kabul.


  1. Dr Shamim Imam, Manusher Jonno Foundation, Dhaka

Bhutan :

  1. Ms Namgay Zam, Anchor/ Producer, Bhutan Broadcasting Service Corporation, Thimphu


  1.  Professor Veena Sikri, Convener, SWAN (South Asia Women’s Network), Academy of International Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi
  2. Ms Jaya Jaitly, Founder President, Dastkari Haat Samiti, New Delhi
  3. Ms Nandini Sahai, Director, The International Centre, Goa
  4. Ms Archana Dwivedi, Nirantar (A Centre for Gender and Education), New Delhi.
  5. Ms Achla Savyasachi, Vice President, Sa-Dhan (The Association of Community Development Finance Institutions), New Delhi


  1. Ms Afiya Fathimath, Maldivian Network on Women’s Rights 


  1. Ms Shwe Shwe Sein Latt, Founder and Director, Phan Tee Eain (Creative Home, and NGO), Yangon


  1. Ms Indira Shrestha, Chief Executive, Shtrii Shakti, Kathmandu
  2. Mr Deepak Dorje Tamang, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Search Nepal.


  1. Ms Mariana Baabar, Diplomatic Editor, The News, Rawalpindi.
  2. Ms Mome Saleem, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Islamabad
  3. Ms Madiha Kazi, Thardeep Rural Development Programme, Karachi

 Sri Lanka

  1. Mrs. Kumari Hapugala Perera, Principal and Owner, Alethea International School, Dehiwala, Colombo District
  2. Mr Uchita de Zoysa, Executive Director, Centre for Environment and Development, Colombo
  3. Ms Renuka Fernando, Sri Lanka Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (WCIC, and Deputy Director, Department of Vocational Studies, Ladies College, Colombo
  4. Mr Namiz Musafer, Country Manager, Practical Action Consulting, Colombo