The first-ever “Grassroots Feminist Convention: Towards Transformational Leadership” was organised by North East Network, Assam on 26th and 27th March 2023 at CBCNEI, Guwahati. The convention was a two-day event that brought together more than 135 women peer leaders, support group members, community women, weavers and members of NEN youth collective Prayas, from Kamrup (Rural), Golaghat, Dhemaji, Darrang, Sonitpur, Udalguri.The aim of the Convention was to discuss various feminist issues, promote transformational leadership, celebrate feminist solidarity, friendship and sisterhood among grassroots women.
The event was graced by three chief guests, Prof. Joshomayee Devi, Governing Board and General Body Member, NEN, Dr. Monisha Behal, Co-Founder and Chairperson, Governing Board, NEN, and Dr. Roshmi Goswami, Co-Founder, NEN and other special invitees from various departments and institutions.
The event began with an inaugural song, “Dusokut Agoni Jolai,” performed by the support group members of Gramin Mahila Kendra NEN, Udalguri and Darrang.
Dr. Monisha Behal, Dr. Roshmi Goswami, and Dr. Joshomayee Devi, were felicitated during the occasion and they shared insights from their experiences which inspired all the participants.
The event also saw the launch of 3 different publications:
Third issue of ‘Srijani,’ Nari Katha which is a collection of grassroots women’s poems released by Junu Bora, writer and activist.
‘Changing patterns of Climate and Livelihoods in Assam – A Survey’ released by Gita Rani Bhattacharya,Chairperson, Governing Board, NEN.
‘Gender Responsive Shelter Homes: A Trainer’s Manual’ by LCN Network, released by Prof. Joshomayee Devi.
The Convention was elevated by the Gumraag Maaksong Dance, a performance by the Sonitpur team.
The Convention featured two panel discussions-
- “Collective Public Responsibility to End Gender-based Violence against Women,” moderated by Chitralekha Baruah, an activist from Guwahati.
Speakers for the discussion included Junumoni Das from NEN, Kamrup, who spoke on the role of Gramin Mahila Kendra in community response to gender-based violence against women, Laxmi Chetri from The Ant, Chirang, who discussed the mental health implications of gender-based violence, Rubi Bhagawati from the State Hub for Empowerment of Women, Government of Assam, who spoke on the state’s response to gender-based violence.
2. “Women and Agriculture in the context of Climate Change,” also moderated by Chitralekha Baruah.
Speakers for this discussion were Moon Bora from Gramin Mahila Kendra, NEN, Golaghat, who spoke on the climate crisis and changing patterns of agriculture, Dr. Sangeeta Deka Rabha from Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Adarsha Mahavidyalaya, Goalpara, who discussed the change in ecosystem services and its implications, Banamallika Choudhury from WLTC, Guwahati, who highlighted the gendered dimensions of climate change.
More Coming Up….