The 10th IWHM is an international meeting where 600-700 people from around 70 countries are expected to participate. In order to have a wide representation from across the world, participation of Indians unfortunately, will have to be limited. Hence, a certain percentage of the total participation will be reserved for Indian participants. Resident Indians can participate in the 10th IWHM in two ways:

  1. By presenting papers, workshops, cultural events etc. at the10th IWHM  


For details Click Here.  


Through the Zonal process in India



  Zonal Process For Indian Participation  

The idea of having zonal consultations in India for the 10th International Women and Health Meeting (IWHM) originated in the post Toronto meeting itself, where we felt that we needed to put into place a parallel national process which would focus on grassroots issues and concerns and link them to the IWHM. This concept got further concretized in the broader consultation of women’s groups/NGOs held in April 2003. At this meeting too it was felt that the IWHM should not be just an international event but should carry the voices of grassroots communities in India. The local concerns of marginalised groups like religious minorities, dalits, tribals etc. needed to find a space in the IWHM through their representatives. It was also decided that we would talk in terms of a consultation process which would not be just zonal but also thematic. It was also felt that these consultations should focus on areas that have not been covered sufficiently in the past – like Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand etc which are remote, neglected and have poor public health infrastructure. About 6 such consultations in different parts of the country would be organized and be completed by April 2005 the latest.


The process around an event is just as important as the event itself. In organizing an international event very often the participation of grassroots communities gets lost. Hence two things were very clear in the OC – one that the IWHM is not going to be a one time event but have the character of a campaign collaborating with other campaigns. Second, that the local concerns will be given importance as the global issues. These consultations would therefore be a bridge linking the local specificity to global universality.


India has a rich legacy of people’s movements and networks especially the women and health movement. These movements have taken up various issues, built campaigns around these issues, struggled to make their voices heard and demanded for changes. The wave of globalization, fundamentalism and fascist governments have thrown up newer challenges for pro-people movements. On this account we need to know from grassroots experiences how changes in the social, political and economic contexts are affecting their lives and impacting their health. These diverse experiences will add an interesting dimension to the IWHM event, enriching discussions and debates on issues that get highlighted.


The consultations will give us an opportunity to get focused around local issues, create linkages and work towards a larger consensus on critical issues that surround women’s health. The consultations will prioritise local area concerns linking them to the following focal themes of IWHM:


The objectives of the consultations will be to:

  • To share the IWHM agenda, its political context and process
    with women’s groups, NGOs and other forums so as to get their collaboration in attaining the participation of grassroots communities in this process.
  • To provide a forum to listen and document region specific grassroots experiences/issues, linking them to the 5 focal themes of the IWHM so as to internationalize these concerns.
  • To collect evidences of positive enabling factors from grassroots and organizations, about the specific ways in which they have addressed health in general and women’s health in particular by making public institutions and functionaries accountable to the panchayats, addressing sanitation/drinking water issues, encouraging indigenous knowledge systems etc.
  • To provide an opportunity for at least 5 – 6 women/persons from each consultation who could participate in the IWHM event.
  • To identify good, well researched papers that have the potential to be presented at the IWHM along with other cultural ex-pressions like street plays, folk songs/stories, case studies etc.

There will be six consultations of two days each with 50 women participating in each. These consultations will be facilitated by an anchor team consisting of members from the states based in the area with support from one or two Organising Committee members who will help in the coordination and follow up of the process. They will be attended by NGO team members, activists, network members and so on, in order to provide a space for sharing of IWHM event, the five focal-themes, identifying local concerns/issues linked to the themes, strategies etc.


The consultation will ensure participation of women from the area and encourage presentation of region specific papers of 5 to 10 pages. We can call for two papers on each focal-theme. Papers presented at the consultation will be collated issue/region wise and be submitted for selection for the IWHM. This process can generate a wealth of literature which is evidence based and experience related. These consultations can also explore other forms of presentations like having street plays, audio visuals, poster exhibits etc.


There will be State level interventions like workshops, seminars etc. and specific preparatory meetings of anchor teams to prepare for the zonal consultations.

The consultations will take place in the following areas:

  • North East zone – seven states.
  • East zone - West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand.
  • North zone - U.P., Uttaranchal, M.P., Chattisgarh.
  • Southern zone – Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamilnadu.
  • Western zone – Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
  • Extreme North – Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu/Kashmir.

The possible anchor organizations for the first region would be North East Network, second - SWAASTHA, third – SAMA and SAHAYOG, fourth- AIKYA, IWID, Sakhi and fifth – CHETNA, WOHTRAC – WSRC and ANANDI. Reports will be submitted at the end of each consultation by the anchor team. Zonal committees can be formed in order to carry forward the deliberations/resolutions/recommendations of the IWHM and culminate into a campaign for women’s health and sexual health and rights.

Besides these consultations there will be simultaneous efforts to dialogue with health campaigns like Jan Swasthya Abhiyan (JSA) and active participation by OC members in events being organized by other NGOs and forums to put forth the IWHM agenda.


Time schedule:

  • August to November 2004 –Identification and finalization of anchor teams and participant groups; Initiating dialogue and making visits.
  • December 2004 to March 2005 – six consultations will be conducted.
  • Post IWHM events – National consultation and collaboration with other campaigns.

The North East zone responsibility has been taken by Monisha Behal of North East Network, Southern zone consultation – Philomena Vincent from AIKYA and other four zones will be taken care of by Sabala. For further details about the zonal process please write to



Eastern Zone Consultation Report