Over the last two decades, women’s experiences and oppression as linked to religious and caste identity have become clearer than ever, as has evidence of how practices of class and caste respectability and privileges produce inequalities amongst women. Since the 1990s, Saheli has organised internal and open meetings to explore the various dimensions of how gender and caste intersect, to share our experiences and address the challenges; to understand the relationship between the caste-based movements, caste-based women’s groups and the women’s movement in general; and to strategise ways of strengthening the interconnections, with a special focus on the role that the autonomous women’s movement needs to play at this particular political juncture.

From deliberations on the challenges thrown up by the brutality in Khairlanji, to organising the session on Caste-based Identities, Discriminations and Struggles alongwith SAMA and CADAM at the Conference of Women’s Movements in Kolkata 2006, we have focussed on overarching issues of the patriarchal control of caste norms and boundaries on all women, the challenges this poses to women’s rights and struggles. In 2008, we published Talking marriage, caste and community: Voices from within, the outcome of a study on the intersection between the insitutions of marriage and community. Subsequently, we have evolved a play titled, Kaun Jaat that uses on monologues to foreground women’s experiences of community control and trigger discussions on the issue. Of late we have also been engaging with the role of caste panchayats as they control the sexuality and freedoms of women.


Saheli’s New Play : Kaun Jaat
(The Performances & the Process)
Newsletter Jan – Apr 2009

Saheli Study on Marriage, Caste and Community
Newsletter Jan – Apr 2008

Against Khairlanji and the Repression
Newsletter Jan – Apr 2007

Reconciliation Without Truth
Newsletter Jan – Apr 2007

Muktabai: A Fearless Dalit Voice, 1855
Newsletter Jan – Apr 2007

Other Dalit Women’s Voices Down the Ages
Newsletter Jan – Apr 2007

Kolkata Conference
Newsletter Dec 2006

Dalits in Shamli Denied Political Rights
Newsletter Sep - Dec 2005

Public Meeting: Contesting Traditions - Intercaste Relationships in Haryana
Newsletter May – Aug 2003

Coming Together Against the Caste System: DAVSS
Newsletter May – Aug 2003

Report on Dalit Women’s Conference, New Delhi
Newsletter May – Aug 2002

Atrocities in a Medical College in Delhi
Newsletter Jul 1999