BeyondHeadlines news Desk
New Delhi: Over 70 women from nine South Asian countries gathered in Dhaka, Bangladesh on July 2and 3, 2011 for the Third Annual conference of the South Asia Women’s Network (SWAN). The Conference was dedicated to the theme “Women of South Asia and the Green Economy”. The distinguished participants were from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.
This unique event deliberated on the search for peace, ecological sustainability and equitable development in South Asia that is intrinsically linked with the struggle for gender empowerment and equity. The one cannot be completed without the other.
Among them were three Members of the National Assembly of Afghanistan, Justice of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, Deputy State Attorney of the Maldives, senior media representatives from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, leading women entrepreneurs from Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India, noted academicians, authors, theatre directors, cultural personalities and well-known educationists and successful NGO leaders from all the nine countries. Ms Vandana Shiva, renowned environmental activist, delivered the Key Note Address. The Bangladesh State Minister for Women and Children’s Affairs, Dr Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury, was the Chief Guest at the Inaugural Plenary, and gave an inspiring speech.
SWAN (South Asia Women’s Network) is headquartered in Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi. Professor Veena Sikri is the Convener of SWAN. The Third Annual Conference in Dhaka was organized as a collaboration between the South Asia Foundation (SAF), the Manusher Jonno Foundation (Dhaka) and Jamia Millia Islamia.
The South Asia Women’s Network brings together eight individual SWANs, respectively on Arts and Literature; the Environment; Women in Peacemaking; Health, Nutrition, and Food Security; Education; Crafts and Textiles; Micro credit, Livelihood, and Development; and Women in Media. SWAN (South Asia Women’s Network) now has its own logo, with the words “Wisdom, Unity, Dignity” as its motto.
At Dhaka, there were animated discussions on the theme of the Conference: Women of South Asia and the Green Economy.