Where we work
South Asia provides a valuable opportunity to investigate women’s struggles. The region has witnessed rapid and large changes over the last decade, including urbanisation, rising employment precarity, new electoral laws and regime changes, shifts in social norms, and the spread of digital technology.
Since the 1990s, India has become increasingly right wing, communal, nationalist and authoritarian, with dissent being seen as anti-national. The Indian Women's Movement continues to face backlash in contemporary India, emanating from the deeply patriarchal, casteist, and communal nature of the Indian state and society.
Women’s struggles in Nepal face a wide-range of backlash from diverse actors and power-holders. The backlash comes primarily from the political power structure that has been dominated largely by men belonging to dominant castes. Women’s struggles also experience backlash from community powerholders, media and family members.
Women’s struggles in Pakistan face backlash from a multitude of actors. The religious right-wing has been the loudest voice within this backlash, closely followed by the state, conservative media and society at large. The lines of backlash can be fuzzy and make separating actors even more difficult – each actor’s discourse feeds into the other as the separation of religion and state remains elusive in Pakistan.
Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan have undergone rapid and significant structural change through divergent political and economic pathways, yet remain deeply and similarly patriarchal in their cultural norms and institutions.