Swayam is a women’s rights organization committed to ending violence against women and children, based in Kolkata, India.
Swayam literally means ‘oneself’ and was set up to provide a holistic support service to women facing violence in their lives. Our strength is our empowering, woman-centred approach, which looks beyond a woman’s immediate need for support and encourages her to become self-confident, self-sufficient and self-reliant. We believe that each individual possesses an inner strength to counter obstacles and thus emerge with renewed self-confidence as a stronger, more complete person.
Through our co-ordinated programme of research and awareness-raising, we work to challenge the societal norms and values that perpetuate violence against women and to influence public policy decisions that affect women’s rights. We believe in the power of collective organisation, and much of our work is done in collaboration with other organisations and networks.
On the other Hand School of Womens Studies, Jadavpur University, formed as a centre for developing Womens Studies in India, was a pioneering effort. Beginning its journey in January 1988 the School was recognised by the UGC in February 1989. The University Grants Commission recognised it as the Nodal Centre for Womens Studies in the Eastern Region during the IXth Plan period. The School remains the most widely known within the region and nationally.
A major objective of the School has been to promote a dialogue between academics and activists, social work and policy making. By facilitating research and extension work, we seek to enhance the visibility of women and gender issues within the academic community of the University and indeed in wider society. We have worked towards creating a platform for sensitising government agaencies, members of the academy and activists. The focus is on Womens Studies as a discipline and a movement and its predominant role in pursuing a gender-just society.