Circles of Gender Justice

Dear Readers,

Gendered violence plays a pervasive and significant role in the lives of modern women around the globe. In that vein, we present a special issue on women’s responses and activism against gender-based violence in South Asian and South Asian diasporic communities.

Discussions of gendered violence are often framed around a specific violent act, yet the sexism, homophobia and patriarchy that informs this violence shapes not only daily life, but also the broader societies which are built upon them. This issue of SAMAR looks at how women are responding to the shape of violence in their communities -- the places where they live, work and play -- and how they are pulling apart the small and large aspects of social, legal and political institutions to stop gender-based oppression.

Zakia Afrin underscores how, in demanding trials for perpetrators of war crimes in Bangladesh, the Shahbag Movement is advancing gender justice for the entire country. Swati Khurana’s photo essay reflects on how agit-prop influenced her efforts to protest the gang-rape of Jyoti Singh Pandey in Delhi; and Chitra Aiyar and Nahar Alam discuss Claiming Our Voice, their film that bears witness to the growing power of domestic workers in Andolan, a NYC-based South Asian workers’ rights organization. We are also proud to feature reviews of Bengali Harlem by Vivek Bald and The State of Islam by Saadia Toor: two important new books that advance the conversation about Muslim lives, past and present.

In the struggle,

The SAMAR Editorial Collective:


Beena Ahmad

 Sulekha Gangopadhyay

Surabhi Kukke

Virali Modi-Parekh

Ahalya Satkunaratnam

Anantha Sudhakar

Saba Waheed



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