Feminist Research and Advocacy

Very early on ANANDI founder directors made an effort to undertake action research projects that allowed reflection and reading of the current trends in feminist research and draw lessons that were emerging from the field interventions to create a bridge between praxis and theory. The organization took up specific assignments, collaborated with academic institutions to put out papers, reports that required analysis and not just reporting of interventions

Feminist research for us carries messages of empowerment that also challenge the encircling of knowledge claims by those who occupy privileged positions. Our efforts at writing are steps from the ‘margins to the centre’. Our writing is done with the acknowledgement that there is a need to learn from feminists around the world, and link women’s everyday lives whereby as they challenge and change gender relations as an outcome of their mobilization and collective strength.

Similarly, feminist advocacy is intimately connected to – and grounded in – the local struggles of real women, and takes its legitimacy and direction from these women, who are experiencing injustice and inequality of different kinds at first hand. It reflects our commitment that realizing rights of women requires building alliances to change policies, institutions, and individuals. Doing advocacy in a feminist way implies not only working towards a good end, but infusing advocacy strategies with feminist values.. ANANDI agrees with Sen and Leipold who suggest that, feminist advocacy must promote four core values – i) a belief in equality; ii) a belief in gender justice in all its different dimensions; iii) a belief in the universal sanctity of human rights and iv) a commitment to flexibility in making alliances in full realization of the fluidity of circumstances and partnerships.

In the past few years ANANDI has worked at the National and Global level to engender the discourse on food security and the economic entitlements. At the national level ANANDI has worked to engender the National Rural Livelihood Mission by engaging with the teams involved in the Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Program in the states of Bihar and Madhya Pradesh with the support of UNWOMEN. ANANDI has developed tools which are aimed simultaneously at enabling reflection and triggering action among women. ANANDI has initiated pilots with the state teams in several districts in both the states.

Lessons learnt from the work with our grass roots women’s organizations have shaped out inputs to the formation of the National Food Security Act 2013.

Currently ANANDI is engaged both at the field level and at the state and national level on the issue of women’s land ownership through it engagement at the Lok Adhikar Kendra, with Working Group for Women’s Land Ownership (WGWLO) a state level network and with CAWL.