eShe invites you to South Asia Union Summit Led by Women

Join in as eminent women from around the world come together to seek solutions for peace, gender equality and a unified South Asia.

Update, 4th October, 2021: This event has ended. To see all the sessions, please visit the event page. You can also still sign up to receive press releases.

This October, brilliant minds will come together to discuss solutions for peace, gender equality, social justice, and a unified South Asia.

eShe magazine’s South Asia Union Summit Led by Women is designed to promote women’s leadership and create a space for cross-border dialogue while harnessing feminine intelligence for a collaborative future. The event is supported by WISCOMP – Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace, an initiative of the Foundation for Universal Responsibility.

Timed this time to coincide with the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and the UN’s International Day of Non-Violence, the virtual Summit includes talks, interviews, workshops and panel discussions by women of purpose from around South Asia and the world. Speakers include academics, writers, activists, educationists, artists, influencers, thought leaders, historians, authors, and more.

This Summit could not have happened without the guidance and blessings of:

The Summit takes forward from eShe’s Indo-Pak Peace Summit Led by Women in January 2021. It was initially planned for May 2021 but had to be rescheduled due to the second Covid wave in India.

Aekta Kapoor, founder and editor of eShe, says, “Conflict, war and militarization come at an unimaginable cost – to life, resources, freedom, social justice and the basic principles of humanity. It is women who suffer the consequences of war, violence and extremism the most, and it is time women stepped up to build peace in South Asia using the power of feminine wisdom, the spirit of solidarity, and a vision tinted with empathy.”

Dates: 2nd and 3rd October, 2021

Time: 3 to 9 pm India | 9.30 am to 3.30 pm GMT – both days

Press registration: Sign up on this form to receive press releases and video links for each session.

Platform: Livestream on eShe’s Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter – comments and participation welcome.

Follow @esheworld on the social-media platform of your choice and do turn on notifications so that you are informed when we go live.


2nd October, 2021

Hosts: Lina Shabeeb Baumann, Pragya Narang

Session 1
3 pm IST / 9.30 am GMT
Building a Platform for Gender Equality
Feminism needs to include boys and men. Creating a gender-equal and more compassionate world needs intervention at the very beginning, when the seeds of inequality are first sown.
Leslee Udwin, award-winning filmmaker, educationist and founder of Think Equal (UK)
Nandita Das, noted actor, director, author and human-rights advocate (India)
Moderator: Aekta Kapoor, founder and editor, eShe (India)
Session 2
4 pm IST / 10.30 am GMT
Not Repeating History: Lessons from the Past for the Future
Why South Asia needs to look objectively at its conflicted past and ensure that the trauma — of Partition, of religious conflict, gender violence, caste oppression — is not repeated. 
Rita Manchanda, scholar, author, peacebuilder, programme advisor at the South Asia Forum for Human Rights (India)
Salima Hashmi, award-winning artist, author and peace activist (Pakistan)
Ravinder Kaur, historian, author and associate professor of Modern South Asian Studies at the University of Copenhagen (Denmark)
Mallika Joseph, scholar of security sector reform, senior fellow at WISCOMP, and visiting fellow at CPR (India)
Moderator: Natasha Badhwar, filmmaker, columnist, author, media team lead at Karwan e Mohabbat (India)
Session 3
5 pm IST / 11.30 am GMT
Open for Business: Peace, Economic Growth and Regional Prosperity
Why regional peace is a prerequisite for economic growth, and why regions that have less conflict with their neighbours are more prosperous.
Darshita Gillies, impact investor, tech entrepreneur, founder of Maanch philanthropy platform (UK)
Sarita Kumari, philanthropist, environmental evangelist, peace activist, director of Ghanerao Hotels (India)
Fawzia Naqvi, impact-investment consultant and former vice president, Soros Economic Development Fund (US)
Moderator: Suparnaa Chadda, founder, SABERA Awards (India)
Session 4
6 pm IST / 12.30 pm GMT
Voice and Vulnerability: Women Activists in Times of Conflict
A discussion on the challenges of women who stand up for peace and justice in conflict zones and patriarchal societies that are typical of South Asia.
Hina Jilani, pioneering lawyer and pro-democracy advocate (Pakistan)
Ambika Satkunanathan, lawyer and former commissioner of Sri Lanka’s Human Rights Commission (Sri Lanka)
Veena Sikri, former Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh, author and academic, convener of the South Asia Women Network (India)
Moderator: Archana Chaudhary, journalist, Bloomberg (India)
Session 5
7 pm IST / 1.30 pm GMT
The Burden of Tradition: Gender Equality and Social Justice in South Asia
For South Asians, tradition is everything, but traditions are also cruel, misogynistic, divisive and inhumane at times. Why we need to redefine “tradition” and come up with more humane ones that ensure equality and justice.
Sabin Muzaffar, feminist publisher and editor of Ananke magazine (UAE)
Mandy Sanghera, award-winning philanthropist and human-rights activist (UK)
Dr Sonora Jha, journalism professor and author of How to Raise a Feminist Son (US)
Manjula Pradeep, founder, Wayve Foundation, and national convener of National Council of Women Leaders (India)
Moderator: Sarita Bartaula, researcher and founding member of South Asia Peace Action Network (US)
8 pm IST / 2.30 pm GMT
Feminine Intelligence as Embodied Leadership
Why respecting, including and embodying feminine intelligence, which is accessible to all of us, will restore wholeness to our human psyche and integrity to our social, economic, ecological and political systems.
Karen Downes, cofounder, FemmeQ and changemaker (Costa Rica)
Session 6
8.30 pm IST / 3 pm GMT
Women Who Dare: Single Motherhood, Freedom and Fearlessness
Making fearless choices, especially as single mothers, in the South Asian context and the challenges it comes with.
Dolly Thakore, award-winning Indian theatre actress and casting director (India)
Diep Saeeda, peace activist and anti-nuclear campaigner, founding director of the Institute for Peace & Secular Studies (Pakistan)
Samra Zafar, human-rights advocate, speaker and writer (Pakistan-Canada)
Moderator: Aekta Kapoor, founder and editor, eShe (India)
9.15 pm IST / 3.45 pm GMTEnd of day one

Press registration: Sign up on this form to receive press releases and video links for each session.

Follow us on @esheworld to watch the sessions live and participate.


3rd October, 2021

Host: Pragya Narang

Session 7
3 pm IST / 9.30 am GMT
Doing Gender, Doing Peace
A discussion on the role of women in peacebuilding
Dr Meenakshi Gopinath, educationist, peacebuilder, Padma Shri awardee and director of WISCOMP (India)
Dr Radha Kumar, academic, author, former director-general of Delhi Policy Group (India)
Introductions: Aekta Kapoor, founder and editor, eShe (India)
Session 8
4 pm IST / 10.30 am GMT
Feminist Lens: Women’s Visibility and the Culture of Silence
Women are projected in a certain way in mass media but that is not the whole truth. This panel will be looking at the old cultures of invisibility and silence of women through the feminist lens.
Najiba Laima Kasraee, journalist, broadcaster, writer, associate standard editor for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (Afghanistan-UK)
Mehr Tarar, columnist, writer and TV show host (Pakistan)
Saloni Chopra, actor, entrepreneur, author of ‘Rescued by a Feminist‘ (India-Australia)
Moderator: Deepti Chawla, producer-director, head of distribution, syndication and marketing, National Film Development Corporation (India)
Session 9
5 pm IST / 11.30 am GMT
Web Warriors: Arming Girls with Internet Tools and Infrastructure
Why arming girls and young women with internet tools is the key for women’s empowerment in the 21st century. 
Juhi Javed Husain, civil servant, lawyer and senior policy advisor specialising in the digital regulation space (UK)
Paba Deshapriya, advocate for equal opportunity and director of The Grassrooted Trust (Sri Lanka)
Pinky Pradhan, director, communications and strategic partnerships, Plan India (India)
Sadaffe Abid, advocate for women’s advancement, tech and financial inclusion; founder of CIRCLE (Pakistan)
Moderator: Priyanka Singh, data analyst and founding member of South Asia Peace Action Network (India)
Session 10
6 pm IST / 12.30 pm GMT
Pathbreaking Education: Raising Global Citizens of a Digital World
Why the old ways of education are not enough to equip South Asian youth for a digital future, and what kinds of new approaches are needed in education.
Faiza Yousuf, technologist and founder of WomeninTechPK and CodeGirls (Pakistan)
Shahneila Saeed, director, Digital Schoolhouse, Head of Education, Ukie (UK)
Monica Malhotra Kandhari, managing director, MBD Group (India)
ModeratorSabin Muzaffar, feminist publisher and editor of Ananke magazine (UAE)
Session 11
7 pm IST / 1.30 pm GMT
Doctrine of Oppression: The Gendered Cost of Religious Extremism
The Taliban in Afghanistan, caste-based sexual violence in India, attacks on feminists in Pakistan and Bangladesh — these are just some of the pegs for this session, which will look at how religious extremism targets women first and most of all.
Khushi Kabir, social activist, artist and environmentalist (Bangladesh)
Mariam Safi, founding executive director of Organization for Policy Research & Development Studies (Afghanistan-Canada)
Beena Sarwar, journalist-filmmaker, peacebuilder, founder-curator of South Asia Peace Action Network (US)
Riya Singh, co-founder, Dalit Women Fight, ICSSR doctoral fellow (India)
Moderator: Aekta Kapoor, founder and editor, eShe (India)
Session 12
8 pm IST / 2.30 pm GMT
Focus on Youth: Empowering Humanistic Political Leaders
We not only need more women in leadership to ensure fair representation of half the population, we also need more humanistic leaders who will put people before politics.
Peggy Mohan, linguistic expert, author and educator (India-US)
Tara Krishnaswamy, software director, activist, author and co-founder of Political Shakti women’s collective and Citizens for Bengaluru (India)
Saba Gul, technology entrepreneur, investor and feminist activist (Pakistan-US)
Vani Tripathi Tikoo, actor, producer, columnist and socio-political activist (India)
Moderator: Beena Sarwar, journalist-filmmaker, peacebuilder, founder-curator of South Asia Peace Action Network (US)
9 pm IST / 3.30 pm GMTEnd of day two

Press registration: Sign up on this form to receive press releases and video links for each session.

Follow us on @esheworld to watch the sessions live and participate.

0 comments on “eShe invites you to South Asia Union Summit Led by Women

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: