New Book by CWSE Associate Scholar: South Asian Mothering

CWSE Associate Scholar Jasjit Sangha, who recently released her book Stepmothering: A Spiritual Journey, has just released another book: South Asian Mothering: Negotiating Culture, Family and Selfhood, available through Demeter Press. 

This is a co-edited collection that seeks to initiate dialogue on South Asian mothering. The chapters in this book explore how South Asian cultural norms and values, as well as social constructions such as gender, race, class, caste, sexuality, and ability inform South Asian mothers’ perceptions and practices of mothering, both in South Asia and the diaspora. This book will appeal to multiple audiences as contributors with backgrounds in academia, activism, public policy and the media draw from theory, research and lived experiences to illuminate the complexity of South Asian mothering.


Congrats Jasjit!

Photos from Billion Rising in Toronto


A few CWSE staffers were on hand at Toronto’s billion rising back in February at the Gardiner Museum:


From the One Billion Rising website:

14 February 2013 marked the largest global action in history to end violence against women and girls. V-Day’s ONE BILLION RISING campaign leveraged the strength of V-Day’s 15-year activist network to mobilize over a billion people worldwide, inspiring women and men in 207 countries to come together and express their outrage, and to strike, dance and RISE against violence.

One Billion Rising succeeded in creating visibility and understanding of the interconnection between issues such as poverty, corruption, greed, environmental plunder, imperialism, religious marginalization, immigration, labor, and political repression, and violence against women.

The campaign has already spurred governments to invite local women to the table to discuss the issue of violence against women, garnered unparalleled international media attention and discourse, highlighted the push to pass the Violence Against Women Act in the U.S. Congress, and brought about a new level of awareness that the time to act is now.





Video of the choreography, from the Gardiner Museum:

Links of Interest

Links and photos of interest from Angela, our WHRI Director:

grand elder

Grand Elder Raymond Robinson prays in front of Parliament, April 8 2013. Photo by Kenneth Jackson.

Is Stephen Harper trying to provoke a confrontation with First Nations?  from  “You have to wonder if Stephen Harper isn’t actively trying to provoke serious conflict with First Nations.There has been over 4 months of ongoing protest, hunger strikes, long distance marches by Indigenous youth, heated negotiations with First Nation leadership, vociferous opposition party criticism in Parliament, and widespread calls for action from non-Indigenous people across Canada. 

During that time, his personally chosen First Nation representative in the Senate was suspended from his position and charged with a criminal offence, his Minister for Aboriginal Affairs had to resign in disgrace, the replacement Minister has stumbled out of the blocks, and there has been no progress on any of the issues behind it all. He has stonily refused to address any of the concerns raised by the Idle No More movement over his unconstitutional legislative agenda.”



Photo from the 1069th weekly protest in Seoul outside the Japanese embassy on behalf of the former Comfort Women. The “Comfort Women” were used as sex slaves by the Japanese military in the Second World War. Those who are still alive are very old now, but continue to protest outside the Japanese embassy every week, in the hopes of an official apology from the Japanese government.


And finally, the Centre for Integrative Anti-Racism Studies is holding its 7th Annual Decolonizing Conference this weekend.

The Gulabi Gang

“The Gulabi Gang is an extraordinary women’s movement formed in 2006 by Sampat Pal Devi in the Banda District of Uttar Pradesh in Northern India. This region is one of the poorest districts in the country and is marked by a deeply patriarchal culture, rigid caste divisions, female illiteracy, domestic violence, child labour, child marraiges and dowry demands. The women’s group is popularly known as Gulabi or ‘Pink’ Gang because the members wear bright pink saris and wield bamboo sticks. Sampat says, “We are not a gang in the usual sense of the term, we are a gang for justice.”

The Gulabi Gang was initially intended to punish oppressive husbands, fathers and brothers, and combat domestic violence and desertion. The members of the gang would accost male offenders and prevail upon them to see reason. The more serious offenders were publicly shamed when they refused to listen or relent. Sometimes the women resorted to their lathis, if the men resorted to use of force.

Today, the Gulabi Gang has tens of thousands of women members, several male supporters and many successful interventions to their credit. Whether it is ensuring proper public distibution of food-grains to people below the poverty line, or disbursement of pension to elderly widows who have no birth certificate to prove their age, or preventing abuse of women and children, the Pink sisterhood is in the forefront, bringing about system changes by adopting the simplest of methods – direct action and confrontation.

Although the group’s interventions are mostly on behalf of women, they are increasingly called upon by men to challenge not only male authority over women, but all human rights abuses inflicted on the weak.”

Their website.

RFR Call for Papers

Thanks to everyone who emailed RFR inquiring about their call for papers. Through technical problems, the emails sent to them in the last four or so weeks were lost. If you emailed and didn’t receive a response, please resend!

This is an ongoing call for papers for the journal Resources for Feminist Reseach (RFR), one of Canada’s oldest feminist academic journals. See the call below, and email for author guidelines.

You can also check out RFR on Facebook at


RFR Call for Papers: New Feminist Research

Resources for Feminist Research (RFR/DRF) is a Canadian, peer reviewed, academic journal that publishes research articles from scholars in a variety of disciplinary settings and from a wide range of critical feminist perspectives. We represent an important forum for the dissemination of feminist work both in Canada and internationally.

RFR/DRF is now accepting submissions to our New Feminist Issues. We are looking for contributions that address current issues, approaches and debates within feminist scholarship and politics. We are interested in original and engaging research articles that consider from a variety of feminist perspectives, issues of gender and its connections and interactions with class, culture, race, sexuality, nation and disability. Articles on these and other appropriate topics are welcome submissions to our journal.

RFR/DRF accepts manuscript submissions that are original and not previously published in any format. Submissions under review elsewhere are not accepted.

Manuscripts should not exceed 10,000 words and should be submitted as a .doc or, .docx document (do not submit as .pdf).

Submit, via email, a cover letter and your full contact information in the body of the email. Attach to email an electronic copy of your manuscript, without any identifying information in it, along with an abstract in a separate document. Email to:

Editor, RFR/DRF

For further information email us at

“Contested Bodies”

The CWSE’s sister group, WIAprojects, has been busy with exhibits and symposiums this past year.  Their most recent exhibit, “Contested Bodies”, just came down over the Easter weekend.


This was one of CWSE staff’s favourite exhibits. The artwork is compelling, and really made the somewhat dreary space feel lively and engaging.

ImageLeesa Streifler

“I have lots of fun, in the female figures I draw, making their innate qualities and strengths visible, something they have always possessed but often concealed under veils, jewelry, sequins, superficial glamour, or in the home. I love to play with the proportions of the body, to give men a softness and women a powerful physique. Representations of the female body have affected me, and like everyone I have been brought up through images and literature to recognize in them on thing above all and that is their sensuality. In Contested Bodies I focus on food use – deprivation, starvation and other eating disorders.” — Leesa Streifler

ImageCendres Lavy

“I’m interested in exploring how different physical characteristics can be represented, and how the gender and sexual markers are inscribed on the body. In Contested Bodies, I draw from two series: Suturer, To Stitch, and Developper. The act of suturing evokes the corporeal, and brings one back to the physicality of the body, to its vulnerability as well as its resilience and ability to heal. Suturing allows one to mend, restore, reconstruct what was wounded, damaged, hurt. My work transforms, subverts, and displaces on paper what occurs in the realm of the ‘real’, caught between the visible and the invisible.” — Cendres Lavy

The exhibit was co-curated by Pam Patterson, Sevan Injejikian, and Leena Raudvee, with production assistance from Jay Smith and Hilda Hashimoto, and installation and catalogue design by Leena Raudvee.