"Engaging with the Feminist City" - Reflections from South Asia


Amid the exploratory series of 'Feminist City' virtual events from a range of geographical regions, the GRRIPP South Asia event was held on 18th of November 2021 - supported by the University of Dhaka.




Logo of Dhaka University
University of Dhaka

170 people registered to participate in the event and more than 65 participants joined from home and abroad. This session was convened by Professor Dr. Mahbuba Nasreen, University of Dhaka, and Dr. Hanna Ruszczyk, Durham University, with four panelists:

  1. Prof. Habiba Zaman, Professor, Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University and an Honorary Research Associate of Centre for India and South Asia Research (CISAR).

  2. Monica Khosla Bhargava, founder of Kham Consultants, a design consultancy rooted by ideas and theoretical insights of space. ​

  3. Prof. Ishrat Islam, Professor, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology and the Director of the Centre for Regional Development Studies (CRDS).

  4. Seira Tamang, researcher and author at the Martin Chautari research centre based in Kathmandu, Nepal.


Screenshot of some of the many participants on the day

The speakers were asked to respond to two questions:

  • How are you thinking about feminism and the city? What is the range of concepts that you use to think through the feminist city? What values do different concepts bring?

  • What does feminism and the city mean in practice? How are you engaging with / responding to / implementing elements of the feminist city?

The Feminist City event of the South Asia Region was full of new perspectives and aspects of feminism and the city. The expert speakers from diverse geographical regions shed new light on the highlighted questions of the event, and the whole session was utterly insightful.

Exchange of knowledge, experience, and expertise brought new angles amid the discussions. For example, it was emphasised that reimagining the city with a whole-of-society approach is crucial in terms of attaining sustainable development. Mutual respect and companionship can also provide new ways to explore different dimensions of development for the city. Insightful questions and comments came forward, not only from the panelists, but also from the audience - with the hope of building a resilient city for all.

Each of the participants from South Asia team were very excited about the event and displayed great positivity regarding the discussion points amid the renowned panel members.


Author bio:

Raisa Imran Chowdhury is the GRRIPP South Asia Region's Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Coordinator. Raisa has over four years experience working in the humanitarian sector, including with the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society.