WHO WE ARE
The Rights Collective is a group of South Asian women who are looking to tackle the distinct and often subtle ways in which disempowerment, inequality, trauma and harm manifests within the South Asian diaspora community in the U.K.
Women and individuals with other marginalised identities (often based on caste, sexuality and gender, for example) are likely to have less power and face violent forms of discrimination from within and outside of our community. At The Rights Collective, we believe it is our duty to dismantle and subvert some of these norms within our own spaces.
In particular, we work to better understand how gendered experiences manifest in our community spaces and how we can facilitate a shift towards justice, equity and harm reduction. Our collective and individual experiences have shown us how certain practices, deeply embedded socio-cultural norms, and the ‘immigrant’ experience can negatively shape and uphold notions of what women should be and their rights to determine the parameters of their life and reality.
WHY A COLLECTIVE?
We identify as a collective as we aim to be an inclusive space for communities in dismantling systemic factors that uphold women's oppression in the South Asian community.
We actively welcome self-identifying South Asians and hope to work together to address the commonalities of how these issues manifest across marginalised communities.
We are also mindful of the intersection of oppression that plays out, even within the South Asian community. We seek to better grapple with and address how caste, language, regional differences and skin colour further compound the type of discrimination and disempowerment faced by women in our communities.
Finally, we are all too aware of how toxic masculinity is perpetuated and upheld within our communities in the demonisation of “others” and male bodies. In the future, we seek to invite male-identifying individuals into the collective too.
WHY IS THIS NEEDED?
The team at the Rights’ Collective is comprised of self-identifying South Asian women. We have all experienced gender based stereotyping, discrimination or violence in some form.
We are cognizant of how, on the one hand, external views of the community can be limiting in reaching the crux of the issues. On the other, we also see how ideas of ‘looking bad’ and “log kya kahenge” can be restrictive in opening up an honest dialogue.
We understand that many issues relating to gender and identity can become confined to private spaces, allowing them to fester within the community instead of being addressed. As such, we wish to be an open space for our communities to address such concerns using our own voice and language.