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Gandhi inspires activist

A veteran of the intifada Eileen Kuttab is in India to strike common cause with women in India, reports Aruna P Sharma.

india Updated: Nov 10, 2006 03:46 IST

A veteran of the intifada — the Palestinian uprisings against Israel — Eileen Kuttab is in India to strike common cause with women in India.

Kuttab, a leading women’s activist and academic from Beirut, is here to take part in the India Social Forum that started off in the city on Thursday. Women’s empowerment and the adverse impact of globalisation on women and children are among the areas of focus at the forum.

Eileen has been associated with the intifada and during her India visit hopes to find answers to empowering Palestinian women at the grassroot level.

Eileen, the director of the Women Studies Institute in Birzeit University, says that in India, women leaders are still connected with women at the grass-root level.

“But back home, after the second intifada, the women’s movement has become elitist and has lost touch with the women at ground level who are secluded and excluded from public life,” says Kuttab.  

“India is the greatest democracy and people who follow Gandhi can really act as a catalyst to the Palestinian struggle for democracy,” says Kuttab.  She says that the best part of India is its democracy that is deep rooted and real, unlike the neo-liberal democracy in other countries.  “I want to take back these experiences with me to help Palestinian women,” says Kuttab.

Email: paruna@hindustantimes.com