At Aawaaz-e-Niswaan, we aim to establish a collective that expands beyond caste, class, or religion. Our services are available for all those who need our support. This being said, our focus on Muslim women’s issues stands on our understandings of the intersectionality of human existence. Influenced simultaneously by their gender, race, economic standing, and religion, Muslim women face a particularly unique struggle that demands carefully catered services and support systems.
Our feminist collective arose in response to the historic 1985 Shah Bano ruling that forced many Muslim women to critically reflect on their varying circumstances, both within their private and public spheres. So many women, including our founder, Shehnaaz Sheikh, found themselves targeted by the unilateral divorce permitted under Muslim Personal Law. As Sheikh tirelessly challenged the injustice she faced under this patriarchal law in the Supreme Court, she connected with other women fighting similar battles. With empathy and shared experiences drawing them together, they began a support network of women providing one another with educational, legal, and emotional resources. This sisterhood expanded outwards into what we proudly know today as Aawaaz-e-Niswaan.
The major strengths of Aawaaz-e-Niswan have been its voluntarism and its rootedness in the community. Aawaaz-e-Niswan began as a voluntary space and still has a large pool of volunteers that supplement and complement its work at all times. The rootedness comes from several strands in Aawaaz-e-Niswan’s history and from its present context and work. One such strand is the space that the collective provides for sharing and for learning, not only from activists, but from every woman who comes to the collective. These women, who come from very different social, economic and geographic backgrounds, together strengthen the perspective and work of Aawaaz-e-Niswan.
How to Contribute
Volunteer with us for Literacy classes
Sponsor the education of girls and women
Provide legal aid for survivors of violence and abuse
Donate educational material and computers for women
Help us expand our Library
Volunteer with your time for our activities