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Indian Women's Movement loses two stalwarts
ImageGail Omvedt, feminist scholar, dalit activist and a supporter of the farmer's movement died on August 25 after a brief illness. Gail was well known in several activist circles, dalit, farmers', women's groups and movements.  Her writing on Ambedkarite social philosophies and the Maharasthra dalit movement and her close association with dalit women's lives gave her a unique perspective on the ivtersectionalities of the two movements well before the term became known in academic circles. She came to India for field work on her thesis in the 1970s, married a social activist doctor hailing from a family of social activists and stayed on in India. Gail was a well-known figure in radical academic circles as well as in activism.  Her passing has been mourned across the social divide among academics as well.
Sonal Shukla was a vibrant figure in the women's movement that took flight in the 1980s in Mumbai.  She mobilised women from a wide cross section including the middle class who had never been involved in such activism.  While she was instrumental in the setting up of the first women's organisations and the Forum Against the Oppression of Women, she subsequently set up her own centre to pursue her more particular interest in girls' education using cultural means and recapturing old songs and stories and imbue them with meaning in the current context. She wrote widely in Gujarati and also translated from that language.  Her passing away two days back is a blow to the women's another social movements especially in the western region that has lost many stalwarts in the last few years.
They are both deeply mourned.
Posted on Sep 09, 2021 | Source: Iris Knowledge Foundation

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