Skip to main content

Foreign policy needs a feminist lens as India drops by 28 ranks in gender gap

By IMPRI Team 

The four-day Online Monsoon School Programme on the theme “Feminist Foreign Policy: Praxis for a Peaceful and Gender Just World Order” is a joint initiative of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) India Office and the Gender Impact Studies Center (GISC), IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi. The first day of the program included an insightful and enriching discussion delivered by the eminent speaker, Dr Swarna Rajagopalan, Political Scientist and Feminist Peace Educator, The Prajnya Trust, Chennai, and was chaired by Prof Vibhuti Patel, Visiting Professor, IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi.
The session was opened with introductory and welcoming remarks from Dr Souravie Ghimiray, IMPRI, and was further moderated by Ms Jyoti Rawal, FES India, Program Adviser – Gender and Social Justice, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung India Office.

Day 1 | September 9, 2022

The first-day session was themed on Gender, Peace and Security and was opened by Ms Jyoti Rawal, who presented a brief but insightful lecture on the origins of Feminist Foreign Policy and the necessary drivers- mainly justice and holistic development of all communities- which led to its conceptualization in modern politics by former Swedish Prime Minister, Margot Wallström. She goes on to elucidate the aims of the organization she represents, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung India Office, one of the oldest organizations in Germany that actively engage in deliberation and raising awareness on gender equality and equal justice. Through a large network in over 100 countries, FES aims to propagate gender sensitization and work at the intersection of Gender, Peace, and Security.
Prof Vibhuti Patel carried the discussion forward by officially opening the day session on Feminist Foreign Policy, by paying a tribute to the two stalwarts of the Feminist India Movement- late Sonal Shukla and the late Gauri Chaudhary- who proactively worked towards community growth of women while also actively raising their voices for a just global community. Professor Patel draws a well-articulated presentation on an introduction to the theme and talks about the origins and timeline of Feminist Foreign Policy from 2014 and continuing and its various adoptions in Canada, Europe and Mexico, as of the latest along with its origins in Sweden. She sheds light on the necessity of its development in building world peace that is equal and holistic while leaving no communities behind.
At times when international security was threatened and the United Nations (UN) was built with the efforts of alleviating conflict and aggravating peace, gender-equal peacemaking initiatives took a backseat, the development and necessity of Feminist Foreign Policy, even today, is prevalent to ensure sustainable development of all women and to ensure an environment where they can exercise their fundamental human rights without any hindrance. She goes on to talk about India’s role in promoting gender equality and adopting Feminist Foreign Policies through its membership in the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), while also providing its neighbours of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) comity technical assistance in promoting gender equality in diplomacy and policy making. However, she does draw out the shortcomings that still exist in gender parity in India’s diplomacy sector through the apparent disparity in the numbers of diplomats being men to that of women.
Dr Swarna Rajagopalan delves into the topic straight away through a presentation on ‘Gender, Peace, and Security’ and delves into the basic fundamentals of the session on Feminist Foreign Policy by providing definitions of gender, security and peace, giving the viewers a good foundation on the topic and important faucets. She explains what gender means in society and how it has little to do with a binary structure, as we identify it, but more with a spectrum that guides our perspective to specify our way of thought. She explains peace has little to do with “no war” only but involves a plethora of other things such as well-being, justice, equality, freedom, and other aspects of liberty that helps develop every individual. Lastly, her explanation of security delves deeper than just international security; she talks about individual security from the viewpoint of physical, sexual, cultural, economic or ecological violence. Her discussion is further amplified with a dedicated elucidation of the intersection of gender and insecurity through pointers of identity, prejudice, inequality, discrimination and violence, all contributing to the growing insecurity over gender, especially that with women.
Dr Rajagopalan further centralizes her presentation on the gender-based violence that prevails and persists in society, post any situation of insecurity, both natural and man-made. In order to alleviate gender disparity in peacemaking, she mentions the necessity of identifying the importance of recognizing peace from a gendered lens, through ending immunity and installing gender-equal decisions and policies amidst peacemaking that are sustainable and gender-sensitive. She ends her presentation by drawing a connection between foreign policy, gender and feminism by emphasizing the necessity of gender-sensitive policies and the representation of women in policy and law-making. The continuous rise of countries adopting Feminist Foreign Policy is also a good indicator of a changing trajectory in existing lanterns as it indicates an emphasis on equality, human rights and women’s empowerment.
The session ends with a group discussion between the three eminent speakers of the session on the meaning of feminism, gender and representation and the necessity of Feminist Foreign Policy followed by an insightful Questions & Answers round with the participants.

Day 2 | September 16, 2022

The second day of the program saw Dr Vahida Nainar, an Independent Researcher and Gender Consultant, as an expert speaker for the session. The theme for Day-2 was Gendered Dimensions of the UN Security Council. The conveners for this session were Dr Simi Mehta, CEO and Editorial Director, IMPRI; Prof Vibhuti Patel; Ms Jyoti Rawal; and Dr Arjun Kumar, Director, IMPRI.
One of the conveners, Ms Rawal introduced the speakers of the session to the participants, along with a brief insight into FES. She also commented on changing roles of world organizations and nations on the issues pertaining to gender and societal biases. The session was then taken ahead by Prof Patel, who threw light on some very powerful statements made during the first session and emphasized various questions that were asked over the course of the session, continuing on the remarks of discrimination at world levels. She also highlighted the fact that world organizations need the representation of women, especially those marginalized at various levels, to bring parity at all levels, adding to the concepts of human security.
The session was then taken over by Dr Vahida Nainar, who started the discussion with conflict, peace, and security, where, various effects of wars and conflicts were talked about. Women are largely affected during such conflicts with adversities ranging from violence towards non-native women, homelessness and displacement, food and income insecurity, along with health effects like reproductive and infant mortality and the trauma that remains for a very long time; UN’s intervention in such situations through various channels was also highlighted. Various UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda have been passed over the years. She then explained the background of these resolutions and how they came about from time to time. Women’s issues were considered soft policies until resolution 1325 broke this formal barrier. The advocacy of various social groups has worked hard to keep the resolution alive, making sure that various policies are implemented and that the conversation of related issues stays relevant in the Security Council through annual reports of the Presidency.
This was done along with providing clarity, acknowledging various policy statements and blocking various resolutions that are not in line with the agenda of WPS; one such example is Russia making a regressive resolution being blocked by the advocacy. Further, an insight into the annual open debate was thrown where the advocacies, briefers and various member states engage in debate and discussion over any resolution. The outcomes of this open debate have been the 11 resolutions so far as discussed above. The briefers consist of various security council members and representatives of Civil Society Organizations (CSO), who briefed the council on various issues. The major advocacy space is an informal group hosted by Canada along with 19 member states called Friends of 1325 or Friends of Women Peace and Security. The other two advocacies on WPS are Security General’s Annual Report as well as Security General’s Report on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence.
Various advocacies help in preparing the mentioned reports along with contributions of member states and CSOs. Resolution 2242 has seen a major representation of women on behalf of various CSOs with numbers increasing over the years. Although the briefers may face repercussions while addressing the Security Council, several such examples are cited in the session, explaining the fact that it is, indeed, a risky affair. Next up is the implementation of the UNSC Resolutions: Successes and Challenges. The international community has adopted a comprehensive framework with regard to sexual violence in conflict. Dr Nainar highlighted that the International Courts have also played a major role in this by introducing sophisticated jurisdiction against crimes related to the conflict. UN Human Rights Council (HRC) and SC have also come up with their own set of policies to address the issue, consisting of various experts from the international community itself.
The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) adopted General Recommendation Number 30 to provide detailed guidance on issues related to WPS. She further elucidated that over the years from the late 90s, the reference to women in UNSC resolutions has also risen as the numbers suggest for themselves. There has also been a significant rise in women’s leadership in the UN at various levels. Even after such developments, various challenges continue to persist, one of them being the National Action Plan on Resolution 1325, which is a list of responsibilities for member states regarding WPS. She said that even the normative framework for sexual violence has not shown significant results and there is low accountability at the ground level itself; the participation of women in formal peace processes has also been low. The increasing violence and extremism threats to WPS are also a major concern to the whole agenda with members fearing violence on families; funding for WPS issues is also quite low across all areas.
Next, the session moved to Feminist Critiques of WPS, where, Dr Nainar construed the whole structure of the SC as quite discriminatory in terms of power concentration with the permanent and elected members. The overall structural roots have not been properly addressed, pertaining to patriarchy and masculinity. She proffered to put, those women who are highly vulnerable in any conflict, consistently, have their backgrounds remain unnoticed. It is found that women feel safer reporting violence to other women only and thus more women should be a part of peacekeeping missions encouraging more reporting accounts of sexual violence. The participation of women in the armed forces encourages local women to be a part of such peacekeeping and armed forces and thus helps in overall women’s representation at various levels. She maintained that women understand women better and thus as a homogenous group help in more women representation and encourage more participation, resulting in addressing victims and other issues.
Even if the representation is hierarchical, no discrimination arises since all the parties involved belong to the same gender and thus the similarities outweigh any minor differences which otherwise would seem highly unlikely. Rape and sexual violence have to be addressed specifically which threatens peace and stability. Finally, the session moved to its concluding slide. The critiques were valid and necessary, throwing light on the various limitations and suggestions to be taken into account to address the loopholes and unaddressed issues. These critiques help in the prosperity and growth of WPS which before the 90s was an unimaginable issue but now is like a moving goalpost, as stated by the speaker. 
Over the years these policies through WPS have helped in encouraging and ensuring the participation and representation of women at various levels and further aim to increase such representation and participation through CSOs, simultaneously addressing the critiques, looking into the challenges, addressing root causes, and eliminating the loopholes. As more and more issues arise, these have to be dealt with enhanced creativity to achieve the desired goals of WPS. The floor was then opened for questions from the participants and various questions were raised such as on the role of the Indian Government. The questions were addressed by Dr Vahida, which provided further insights to the various stakeholders in addressing the issue. At last, the session came to an end with special thanks to Dr Vahida Nainar, the conveners and IMPRI for the successful conduct of the session.

Day 3 | September 23, 2022

Our panel for the third day included Prof Roxana Marinescu, Professor, Faculty of International Business and Economics, Department of Modern Languages and Business Communication, Bucharest University of Economic Studies and Prof Vibhuti Patel. Dr Simi Mehta welcomed the speakers and participants to the program with an introduction and remembered Hansa Mehta for the quotation- ‘all human beings are born equal.’ The theme for the third day was Gender and Sustainable Development Discourses. Commencing the program, the convener for the session, Ms Jyoti Rawal welcomed the panellist and briefly discussed how the patriarchial mindset has been continuing in India.
Prof Vibhuti Patel gave a presentation on the topic- ‘Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow.’ Diversity, equality and inclusion are the main mottos of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), given by the United Nations. She said women’s role in leadership is very important and remembered the foremothers who paved the way for women’s progress and gender equality. She is of the view that biases can be broken through diversity, equality and inclusion. This was followed by a detailed discussion of the 17 SDGs and an elaboration on how women’s empowerment can be achieved through them. She concluded by discussing the role of nation-states in bridging the gender gap.
Prof Roxana Marinescu took over while underlining the slow progress in SDGs. She focused on the European Union and its policy on Sustainable Development and Feminist Foreign Policy; she shared data and statistics on European Progress on five SDGs. Gender-based violence, education, employment and leadership are the European Union Policies that address five of the SDGs. Prof Marinescu then discussed the Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025 and spoke about the six strategies, including women empowerment and physical and sexual violence against women. She also discussed the European mentality of men earning for the family. She elaborated that Europe has the largest Women’s Commission- 39% of women in an elected parliament and 32.2% in the local parliament. Feminism is about liberal feminism and women need to be in decision-making power rather than pursuing structural change. She also spoke about some challenges and critiques regarding gender mainstreaming such as the superficial approach and the co-optation of gender change; overall she emphasized both, the top-down and bottom-up, approaches.

Day 4 | September 30, 2022

Our panel for the fourth day had Prof Meenal Shrivastava, Professor of Political Economy & Gender Studies at Athabasca University, Canada; along with Ambassador Anil Trigunayat, former Indian Ambassador to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Libya and Malta and Prof Nillima Srivastava, Professor, School of Gender and Development Studies, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), New Delhi for special remarks; the session was Chaired by Prof Vibhuti Patel. The theme for the day was Gender, International Relations and Diplomacy. Dr Simi Mehta welcomed the speakers and participants to the program with a brief introduction about the same. Commencing the program, the convener for the session, Ms Jyoti Rawal welcomed the panellist and gave insights about the working of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.
The session started with the remarks of Ambassador Anil Trigunayat, who expressed that we need to deal with the issue of foreign policy and discussed the two latest news. One was the Supreme Court judgment on married/unmarried women’s right to terminate a pregnancy, which is a major change; the other was regarding an insensitive comment by a lady IAS officer in Bihar. He said more women in the system will lead to greater representatives and respondents; for the betterment of society, there is a need for greater involvement of women in decision-making and participation. He also talked about the case of Iran and Afghanistan where protests are ongoing as women face discrimination. In Iran, protests are going on against autonomy for the hijab-related issue. While in Afghanistan, women are prohibited from doing and attending many activities. He said that women are being discriminated against at every level of department and participation, even in the elite classes. He concluded by saying that charity begins at home, hence India should start with the required efforts.
Prof Meenal Shrivastava, interconnected many complex issues of the global economy, starting from the whole global movement of people and followed by political economy-related issues. She said we experience our positionality differently in different contexts depending on where we stand in relation to existing dynamics of power and privileges. The scope of International Relations is expanded to emphasize the interaction of sovereign states and intervention and the implication of practices. “Foreigners”, “Immigrants”, “Women of Colour”, and “Childless” are the labels that are used to essentialize real or perceived differences to create and maintain hierarchies of humanity. She put the fact that women comprise of half-human population. There is an absence of women in International Relations theory and hence, the practice is manifested in both women’s marginalization and decision-making and an assumption that women’s day-to-day life is not impacted or important to International Relations. She talked about this longstanding exclusion that has shaped our current political system and how we understand and interpret them; according to her, traditional International Relations is gender blind.
She said gender research demonstrates links between the violence in women in private and public spaces. Global politics rests on the daily activities of men and women and these activities depend on gender identities; restrictions on basic activities are more susceptible to gender violence. Mass rape of women was ignored during World War II; similarly, sexual violence remains endemic in various war zones, making women historically marginalized. She also said that globalizing world is resting on the cheapest labour of women from the post-colonial society or developing nations. She highlighted global declining democracy and hypernationalism which is backed by popular masses and further threats to women. She also talked about the Feminist Foreign Policy framework and the importance of Feminism. Prof Shrivastava said feminism is for everyone and there is a need for the involvement of women in making policies for foreign or domestic for the betterment of society. She ended up with an optimistic note of transformation being possible. Gender equality is a means to achieve economic growth and global security. She said the time is opportune to engage and shape emerging discussions around Feminist Foreign Policy and other gender mainstreaming approaches.
Prof Nillima Srivastava presented the topic- “Why What, and How to Implement Feminist Foreign Policy in the Context of India”. Despite an increase in political and economic participation, gender equality is yet to be achieved. She explained the Feminist Foreign Policy in detail and how it calls for a state to promote and practice gender equality, ensuring all women enjoy their human rights, even through diplomatic relations. Feminist Foreign Policy aims to incorporate policies and initiatives to not just control war, diplomacy and security but also to manage and promote the visibility of women and other marginalized groups. It ensures that women are treated as equals and they enjoy their human rights within international commitments too. She added two more Rs i.e, Research & Reporting (monitoring and evaluation of impact), and Reach ( applying a gender lens to all policies and programs).
She said that Feminist Foreign Policy rests on three main pillars- Human Security, Challenges Power Structures and Intersectionality. Moving toward the later phase of her presentation, she discussed a case study of Canada and Sweden where Feminist Foreign Policy is being implemented and thus recognizing the importance of women‘s active role in conflict prevention and peacebuilding. She then elaborates on why India’s foreign policy needs a feminist lens and drew attention to the Gender Gap Report 2021 which shows India dropping by 28 ranks from its previous position which reflects the need for the rethinking of the conventional methods in shaping Foreign Policy. The program ended with a vote of thanks by Ms Tripta Behra, a research intern at IMPRI.
---
Acknowledgement: Ishina Das, Soham Biswas and Kashish Prasad, research interns at IMPRI

Comments

TRENDING

Zakir Naik tumult, Catholic Church power abuse: will Anwar Ibrahim save Malaysia?

Anwar Ibrahim By Jay Ihsan*  Anwar Ibrahim, a hardcore reformist who took a punch to his eye in 1998 from then inspector-general of police, Rahim Noor, has finally been given the mandate by Malaysians to serve as the nation's 10th prime minister. Anwar knows too well the burden of staying true to both trust and faith the people have in him requires every once of commitment and dedication. The question is will he be apologetic for his transgressions enroute to "rebuilding" Malaysia? In his overzealousness to get the job done, Anwar, 75, needs to safeguard every bit of gumption to address prickling issues plaguing the safety of the nation especially those involving communal sensitivities. For one, dare Anwar get rid of terrorist hate preacher and fugitive Zakir Naik for inciting religious unrest in Malaysia? In November 2016, India’s counter-terrorism agency filed an official complaint against Naik, holding him responsible for promoting religious hatred and unlawful activi

Although sporting genius, Wasim Akram was mascot of cricket globalisation era

By Harsh Thakor*  Since Independence India and Pakistan produced a galaxy of cricketing stars that permeated cricketing artistry of legendary heights. Amongst this bunch.Wasim Akram manifested pure cricketing genius to the greatest height.I speculate how India’s fortunes would have changed had partition not taken place and Wasim playing for India. Wasim Akram explored realms untranscended in bowling wizardry, like a painter devising new art forms or a scientist experimenting. He simply re-defined the art of reverse swing, reversing the ball in and out. There were bowlers quicker, more accurate and with better records, but none equalled Wasim in an all-round package. He was more lethal with a new and old ball than any fast bowler ever. Wasim could produce balls that were surreal, with his reverse swing, defying laws of bio mechanics He was simply the epitome of versatility, possessing a repertoire of six different deliveries within an over itself, disguising deliveries in the manner of

Galileo-Catholic church affair: must history repeat at Malaysia’s St Francis Xavier church?

By Jay Ihsan*  Christianity is the enemy of liberation and civilization -August Bebel Christianity taught men that love is worth more than intelligence -Jacques Maritain Real Christianity can be summed up in two commands: Love God and love people. - Joyce Meyer Pious XI was too neutral to mention the gas chambers; decent people like my own family were turned into devils by crude Christianity - Lionel Blue Religious doctrines cannot escape the liberty of thoughts and expression. To each their own, so it is said. From all things nice to all things that make one cringe - religion is polarised and in this regard, Christianity has over time faced the wrath of bigotry espoused by those "bequeathed" to protect it. Take Pope Francis for example. He had a secret meeting with giant pharma Pfizer chief executive officer Albert Bourla last year while the world struggled to make sense of the word "lockdown" and suffer adverse effects of the Corona virus vaccines produced by Pfiz

Qatar World Cup has a strong Bangladesh connection: stadium construction, t-shirts

By Mashrur Siddique Bhuiyan*  The FIFA World Cup fever has unquestionably cut through the minds of mass people all over the world. Stadiums in Qatar are buzzing with football fans and athletes representing their countries at the “Greatest Show on Earth". The magic of the FIFA World Cup is so enormous that even being unable to participate does not matter much to the fans who support different nations. This is one of the highest viewed events in the world, with the 2018 event viewed by about 3.6 billion people worldwide. But this crowd is not aware of the contribution of migrant workers who helped build the very stadiums where the matches are playing in. Qatar won the bid in 2010 to host the FIFA World Cup 2022, which got the oxymoron of celebration and controversy. This also created the potential for Qatar to Showcase its monumental economic achievements and unique culture on the global stage. The motto for Qatar’s bid team in 2010 was ‘Expect Amazing’ and migrant workers across th

Floods: As ax falls on most vulnerable, Pak seeks debt cancellation, climate justice

By Tanupriya Singh  Even as the floodwaters have receded, the people of Pakistan are still trying to grapple with the death and devastation the floods have left in their wake. The floods that swept across the country between June and September have killed more than 1,700 people, injured more than 12,800, and displaced millions as of November 18. The scale of the destruction in Pakistan was still making itself apparent as the world headed to the United Nations climate conference COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, in November.  Pakistan was one of two countries invited to co-chair the summit. It also served as chair of the Group of 77 (G77) and China for 2022, playing a critical role in ensuring that the establishment of a loss and damage fund was finally on the summit’s agenda, after decades of resistance by the Global North. “The dystopia has already come to our doorstep,” Pakistan’s Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman told Reuters. By the first week of September, pleas for h

A classic, 'Gandhi' ignores merciless cruelty unleashed on militant freedom fighters

By Harsh Thakor  The movie ‘Gandhi’ produced by Richard Attenborough, which was released 40 years ago on November 30th, 1982, was classic in it's own right. Ironical that it took an Englishman to embark upon the making of a film on this legendary figure. I can't visualize a better pictorial portrayal of Gandhi's life or an actor getting in the skin of the character an exuding the mannerisms as actor Ben Kingsley. Episodes are crafted and grafted surgically, illustrating how Gandhi wove fragmented bits into a cohesive force, to confront he British empire. Most boldly the movie unfolds how British colonialism subjugated the Indian people to barbaric cruelty. With great mastery the cinematography captures the vast Indian landscapes and essence of livelihood of Indians under colonial rule. The movie most illustratively shows the crystallisation of anti-colonial fervour from the embryonic stage and how it fermented into an integrated movement. In a most subtle manner it illustr

Implementing misleading govt order to pollute Hyderabad's 100 year old reservoirs

Senior activists* represent to the Telangana Governor on GO Ms 69 dated 12.4.2022 issued by the Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MA&UD), Government of Telangana: ‘...restrictions imposed under para 3 of said GO Ms 111 dated 8.3.1996 are removed...’: *** Ref: GO Ms 111 dated 8.3.1996: ‘To prohibit polluting industries, major hotels, residential colonies or other establishments that generate pollution in the catchment of the lakes upto 10kms from full tank level as per list in Annexure-I...’ We come to your office with grievance that GO Ms 69 dated 12.4.2022 issued by Government of Telangana not only contains false information issued ‘By Order and in the name of the Governor of Telangana’ , without any scientific or expert reports, but also that implementation of the said GO is detrimental and can be catastrophic to the Hyderabad city as two 100 year old reservoirs Osman Sagar and Himayath Sagar were constructed as dams on river Moosa and river Esa, with the first and

Bangladesh's ties with Myanmar, Nepal, China need connectivity with India's NE states

By Samara Ashrat*  On 26th November, India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that India is trying to improve trade and connectivity with Bangladesh and Myanmar on his two-day visit to India's Northeast region. He emphasized the importance of linking Northeastern India to the rest of the nation and reiterated Delhi is working to improve connectivity and infrastructure in the region. By taking the G20 presidency India will try to showcase the true spirit of the Northeast to the world, with its tourism benefits. But, the umbilical cord between the Indian mainland and North Eastern Region is Chicken's Neck or Siliguri corridor which brings Bangladesh into the Indian equation of northeastern development. Not only that, Bangladesh has very close relations with West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, and Tripura in terms of language, culture, and history. These factors make Bangladesh an inextricable element of the development of the northeastern states. Tourism Sector and Con

25 years of CHT peace accord: A glorious chapter of conflict resolution in Bangladesh

By Kamal Uddin Mazumder*  Conflicts between the Bangladesh army and Shanti Bahini persisted in the Chittagong Hill Tracts for more than two decades. On December 2, 1997, Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS) and the Bangladeshi government signed the CHT Accord, putting an end to the violent armed conflict and improving the life of a lot of the people there. It has been made possible through just seven meetings under the worthy leadership of Sheikh Hasina. The historic peace agreement created an atmosphere of peace in the mountainous region. An atmosphere of peace has been established by ending the armed conflict. The geographical features and ethnic diversity of Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) are distinctive. The 13,184 square kilometer territory is bordered by Myanmar and the Indian state of Mizoram on the East and Tripura on the North. With its 1.6 million people, it entails great importance to Bangladesh for its geopolitical location. Due to the conflict-prone Northeast Indi

Film on evidence of viability of in situ communitarian urban water management

By Rahul Banerjee  Over the past few years it has become increasingly clear that centralised urban water management in India is in deep crisis. Water supply is both inadequate and extremely costly, water harvesting and recharging and used water treatment and reuse are mostly absent and storm water management is a disaster. Under the circumstances, the only viable solution is communitarian in situ water management and this is what has been proposed in the latest guidelines of both the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation and the Swacch Bharat Mission. Our NGO, Mahila Jagat Lihaaz Samiti , has not only implemented communitarian in situ water management but has also carried out research to provide evidence of the unviability of centralised water management and the suitability of the former. Here is a film based on a detailed research that I did on urban water management in Chhattisgarh for the National Institute of Urban Affairs, New Delhi, that succinctly critiques cen