Themed as Building Transformational Leadership – Towards Equitable and Sustainable Change, the workshop for grassroots women leaders was an attempt to prepare grassroots women leaders to drive social and ecological change among their collectives. From understanding patriarchy and power to taking hands-on-training in compassionate farming practices, the workshop was a wholesome experience for all our women leaders.
The first day of the workshop was filled with engaging activities and discussions. Understanding patriarchy and power was the core theme of the programme held on 1st September 2023. The enriching programme involved a session on the structural challenges of patriarchy, and group discussions about how patriarchal practices are incorporated through different institutions like family, religious institutions, legal system, educational institutions etc., and how patriarchal norms leads to differential access to and control over resources which in turn leads to differential decision making power. This helped the participants to understand the power dynamics between different intersectionalities and how patriarchy promotes the same. In a nutshell, the programme created a platform for our grassroots women leaders where they could take part in constructive discussions about patriarchal power structures. It also created a space where women can lead and challenge the patriarchal structures of our society.
The second and third day of the workshop involved training about the development of homestead food forests. These days have been a whirlwind of knowledge and action for our grassroot women leaders. All the participants dove deep into the world of food forests with resource person, Farmer Samir Bordoloi.
From seed keeping to seed bombing, and bamboo biochar production to building up soil microbes using local resources – these sessions were a learning experience for all. The sessions focused on compassionate natural farming techniques and showed our women leaders a path to enable change by creating sustainable food sources for themselves and their communities.
Change can only happen with collective efforts. These workshops serve as the soil bed from which seeds of transformation, both social and ecological, can be sown.