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National Seminar: The Role of Women in Peace Processes

National Seminar: The Role of Women in Peace Processes

North Eastern Social Research Centre, Guwahati

November 2nd & 3rd, 2018

Venue: Jagriti 3rd floor, GMCH Road, Christian Basti, Guwahati (Next to St. John’s Hospital)


North Eastern Social Research Centre, Guwahati is organising a two-day National Seminar on “The Role of Women in Peace Processes.” The focus of the seminar is Northeast India but there will be a few presentations from the rest of the country.


Ms Teesta Setalvad, Secretary, Centre for Justice and Peace, Mumbai will give the keynote address. Prof. Ritu Dewan, former Director of the Department of Economics, Bombay University and former President, Indian Association of Women’s Studies will speak on the impact of the Kashmir Conflict on women. Neha Dixit, freelance journalist, New Delhi will speak on women and communal conflicts. Ms Amrita Gogoi of Dibrugarh University will speak on women’s role in the Nepal Maoist struggle. 

Speakers from the Northeast include Dr. Anjali Daimari of Barama College and President, Bodo Women’s Justice Forum, Dr. Monisha Behal of North East Network (NEN), Guwahati, Dr. N. Vijaylaxmi Brara of Manipur University, Dr. Veronica Pala of Economics Department, NEHU, Shillong and others. 

The seminar attempts to analyse conflicts and peace processes in Northeast India (NEI). According to official sources NEI records the highest number of ethnic conflicts in South Asia. Recurrent efforts have been made to open a space for dialogue between the State and the militant groups or between the communities in conflict. The dialogue between the State and the militants has mostly resulted in partial and temporary respite. They have failed to address the structural dimensions of the conflict and to involve people from all social intersections. That has turned the dialogue into a discussion moving more towards power sharing and ceasefire than a lasting solution. Genuine peace should ideally be seen as a new society based on justice, not merely as absence of armed conflict. Peace to be real cannot be limited to power sharing between the State and the Militants but should result in a new space that includes the civil society, particularly women in the process. Women are by and large excluded from the dialogue with the State because it is limited to the militant groups, both of which are dominated by men. 

While the official dialogue is mainly between men, the Northeast has many instances of women taking an active part in peace building as demonstrated, among others, by the Meira Paibis of Manipur through their protests near Kangla Fort against the Indian Army and State to revoke the draconian AFSPA in 2004. It is seen also in the social roots of the politics of Naga Mothers’ Association (NMA) derived from the role women played as ‘demi’ (mediators) in various Naga tribal traditions. One can add other traditions that entail a gender mainstreaming in conflict structures by recognising the positive agency of women that takes them beyond their cultural roles. 

This conference will probe into the dual themes of the impact of conflicts on women, their roles, forms of intervention and capacities and limitations in peace building. By sharing the local experiences and traditional knowledge of communities appropriated by women to organise peace strategies, the participants will look into the processes of conflicts and peace in which they get involved. Studies indicate that women suffer more in times of conflict but they are excluded from the peace processes. A better understanding of this situation can assist men to become allies in the ‘gender sensitive interventions’ for peace building. 


Dr Walter Fernandes
Senior Fellow and Seminar Coordinator


           National seminar on the Role of Women in Peace Processes

Organised by

North Eastern Social Research Centre (NESRC), Guwahati


Venue: Seminar Hall, Jagriti, 3rd floor                                                Date: 2nd and 3rd November, 2018


Day 1: Friday, 2nd November, 2018








10:10 – 10:40


10:40 -11:00

Inaugural Session


Chairperson: Dr. Rakhee Kalita Moral, Associate Professor, Cotton University

A Word of Welcome: Dr. Melvil Pereira, Director, NESRC

Introduction to the Seminar: Ms. Kusumika Ghosh, Research Associate, NESRC

Keynote Speaker: Ms. Teesta Setalvad, Human Rights Activist, CJP, Mumbai

Theme: Women, Conflicts and Peace: Do they only Suffer or Participate in the Process and Decisions?

Chairperson Speaks

11:00 – 11.15

Tea Break



Session I: Women’s Role in Conflicts & Peace


Chairperson: Ms Teesta Setalvad, Human Rights Activist, CJP, Mumbai

Themes and Speakers:


Negotiating the Peaceful Way: Female Guerrillas from the PW of Nepal

Ms. Amrita P. Gogoi, Assistant Professor, Political Science, Dibrugarh University.


Re-Framing the Gender Question in the Conflict-Peace Paradigm:

The Kashmir Context

Prof. Ritu Dewan, Former chairperson, IAWS (2014-17)


Impact of Communal Conflicts on Women and Their Role in Communal Peace.

Ms. Neha Dixit, Freelance journalist, New Delhi

13:00 – 14:00

Lunch Break



Session II: Nagaland and Sikkim


Chairperson: Dr. Samhita Barooah, Freelance Journalist & Independent Researcher

Themes and Speakers:


Women, the NMA and Peace Processes in Nagaland

Ms. Vizokhole Ltu, Research Associate, NESRC


The Customary Law and Women’s Struggles for Property and Political Rights

Dr. Sumi Daa-Dhora, HoD, English & Dr. Medonuo Pienyu, HoD, Sociology [St Joseph’s College, Jakhama, Nagaland]


Contextualising Conflicts and the Role of Women in Peace Processes in Sikkim: An Overview

Dr Garima Thakuria, Asst. Professor, Anthropology & Mr Shankar Narayan Bagh, Asst. Professor, Dept. of Sociology [Sikkim University]

15:30 – 15:45

Tea Break




Session III: Manipur


Chairperson: Dr. Yengkhom Jilangamba, Chairperson, Centre for Peace & Conflict Studies, TISS, Guwahati

Themes and Speakers:


Meira Paibi: A Great legacy

Dr. N. Vijaylaxmi Brara, Associate Professor, Sociology, Manipur University


The Role of Women in the Kuki-Naga Conflict and Peace Process

Dr. S. Manikho Kohusii, Dept. of Sociology, Asst. Professor & Mr. Athili Hopeson Kayina, Asst. Professor, Dept. of Political Science, Japfii Christian College, Kigwema, Nagaland


Blockades and the Three Bills in Manipur:  Role of Women in the ILPS Demand and the Anti-Three Bill Campaign

Dr. Ruth Nengneilhing, University of Delhi & Dr. Hoineilhing Sitlhou, University of Hyderabad


Day 2: Saturday, 3rd November, 2018




Session IV: Tripura & Mizoram


Chairperson: Dr. Polly Vauquline, HoD, Women’s Studies, Gauhati University

Themes and Speakers:


The Role of Women in the Bru-Mizo Conflict

Ms. Ratna Reang, PhD Scholar, Agartala


Women in Conflict and Peace in Tripura: A Review

Dr. Pankaj Chakraborty, Dean of Social Sciences, Holy Cross College, Agartala


The Role of Women in the Mizo Nationalist Struggle and in the Peace Process

Dr. Hminthangzuali Chhakchhuak, Department of History, Mizoram University

11:00 – 11:15

Tea Break




 Session V: Assam


Chairperson: Dr. Pahi Saikia, Associate Professor, Political Science, Department of Humanities & Social Sciences, IIT, Guwahati

Themes and Speakers:


The Impact on Women of the BTAD Conflicts and their involvement in the peace process

Dr. Anjali Daimari, Founder & President, Bodo Women’s Justice Forum (India)


Women and Conflicts: A Study in Karbi Anglong District

Ms. Jyotikona Chetia, Research Associate, NESRC, &

Ms. Bhaswati Borgohain, PhD Scholar, Tezpur University


The Role of Women in the Assam Movement and its Aftermath

Dr. Monisha Behal, CEO, North East Network, Guwahati


12:45 – 13:45





Session VI: Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya


Chairperson: Prof. Kalyan Das, OKDISCD, Guwahati

Themes and Speakers:


Role of Khasi - Pnar Women as Community Builders and Peace Makers

Dr. Veronica Pala, Faculty, Dept. of Economics, NEHU, Shillong


The Chakma-Hajong Resettlement Controversy and its Impact on Women

Dr. Jumyir Basar, Faculty, Rajiv Gandhi University, Itanagar


The Role of Women through the Lens of the Print Media in the Nationalist Struggle and Peace Processes in Mizoram

Ms. L. V. Lalrintluangi & Dr. C. Zonunmowia; Asst. Professors, St Xavier’s College, Lengpui, Aizawl, Mizoram








Session VII: Valedictory Session


 Chairperson: Dr. Asha Kothari Choudhury, Associate Professor, Dept. of English, Gauhati University



Summary of the Seminar Discussion: Dr. Walter Fernandes, Senior Fellow, NESRC


Valedictory Address:  Ms. Parismita Singh, Freelance Writer, Guwahati    


Chairperson Speaks


Vote of Thanks: Dr. Meenal Tula, Senior Research Associate, NESRC



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