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Srilatha Batliwala


Srilatha is a long-time women’s rights advocate and feminist scholar. For 10 years, she served as JASS board co-chair. She is the Director of Knowledge Building and Feminist Leadership at CREA. Before that, she was a Scholar Associate with the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID). Srilatha co-chairs the board of Gender at Work, and serves as a board member of SPARC Samudaya Nirman Sahayak and IT for Change. She focuses on concepts and practices of feminist movement-building, women’s transformative leadership, gender-sensitive monitoring and evaluation, and capacity building and mentoring of young women activists.

Srilatha has been making links between grassroots activism, advocacy, teaching, research, training, grant-making, and scholarly work since the late 1970s.  She is the co-founder of four organizations and two grassroots women’s movements.  Up to the mid-1990s she was based mainly in India, but then moved to work in several premier international institutions, as a Program Officer in the Ford Foundation, New York, and then as Civil Society Research Fellow at the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations, Harvard University. She is well known for her work in large-scale grassroots women’s empowerment movements (such as SPARC and Mahila Samakhya) that mobilized thousands of poor and Dalit women in both urban and rural areas in India.

A long-time JASS ally, Srilatha lives and works from her home in Bangalore.  She is married, with two married children and four grandchildren.

Articles and Publications

Feminists and feminisms come in many forms: Suspend judgment!, openDemocracy – October 10, 2016
To build feminist futures, suspend judgment!, openDemocracy – October 3, 2016
Beyond Individual Stories: women have moved mountains, openDemocracy, February 2013
Capturing Change in Women’s Realities (a feminist critique of current monitoring and evaluation approaches), AWID – 2010
Feminist Leadership for Social Transformation: Clearing the Conceptual Cloud, CREA – May, 2010
The Feminist and the Sex Worker: Lessons from the Indian Experience , Himal South Asia – August 2010
Changing Their World – Concepts and Practices of Women’s Movements (in English, Arabic, French and Spanish), AWID – 2008
Taking the Power Out of Empowerment – An Experiential Account, Development in Practice, Vol. 17: 4 – 5 – August, 2007
Transnational Civil Society: An Introduction, co-edited with Prof. L. David Brown, Kumarian Press – 2006
All About Power: Understanding Social Power and Power Structures, CREA, 2019

Media Profiles:

Srilatha Batliwala: Engaging with Feminist Leadership – July 9, 2021
Environmental Gender Justice, April 23, 2008

Recent Blog Posts:

What Women Crossing the Line Means to Me

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