Action Research

Action research is a methodology that enables us to weave our interventions and activism with analysis and reflections rooted in the communities and constituencies with which we work. It also enables us to draw the communities themselves into reflecting on and thinking about the world around them and it’s impact on their everyday lives. And tell their own stories that help to break the singular narrative of the one story. When the outcomes of the action research help to deepen dialogues within the community as also with state institutions and civil society action, “research” becomes a way to not only speak truth to power but to the powerless too.

Missing women in Kolar

Based on our work in Kolar district this is a study that seeks to understand more closely the phenomenon of “missing” women as they are termed according to police records. To understand the dynamics that underlie this phenomenon, we wanted to engage with the idea of ‘missing’ women, as seen by the State and by the family and examine the idea of ‘missing’ women as the part of a coping stratagem that women use to push against the confines of the family. In doing so, we want to explore the idea of migration as a way in which women are physically creating a life for themselves, and the implications that the State action of  ‘returning them’  has on this agentic concept.

The study that delves deeper into these questions is being done in collaboration with a number of local women’s organisations and organisations working with sex workers and the transgender community.

Insecure Masculinities, Youth and Gender Violence

Over the years of our working in and around Anekal while we are faced with increasing violence and crimes against women both within the home and outside we are also confronting increased violence against and amongst the youth many of whom are getting drawn to criminality and drug abuse.

It is in this context that we are also conducting an action research in collaboration with students and faculty from local government and private colleges which would help to bring out the deeper connections between the economic transformations in the region and the construction of new masculinities, youth and gender violence even while finding relevant responses as defined by the youth and women in the communities.

Research on Women and Work

This is part of an ongoing study that has been initiated by Zubaan in collaboration with different organisations across the country. The attempt was to understand how women in these informal sectors including domestic workers, sex workers, construction workers and powrakarmikas define and value the paid and unpaid work that they do within the home and workspace within the broader context of trying to understand women’s work, the diverse forms of violence in the workplace and also the ways in which women try to resist and cope with it. In 2020 in the post COVID context, this process was taken forward through specifically documenting personal narratives on the impact of the pandemic on women workers in diverse sectors of the informal and unorganised sector, to understand how their definitions and context for work have changed. And the impact in turn has had within the personal sphere of the family.

Impact of Covid on Transgender Communities

SIEDS and Gamana conducted a survey in collaboration with Ondede, a transgender led organisation based in Bangalore that seeks to bring about a convergence between the concerns of movements for child rights, women’s rights, sexual minority rights other vulnerable sections through areas of dialogue, research and action on dignity-voice – sexuality. The research was meant to assess the ongoing impact of COVID related events on the transgender community in Karnataka towards finding long terms solutions. Based on the findings of the survey conducted, a report with recommendations was completed and released. This has helped the ongoing advocacy and lobbying that Ondede is doing for the rights of transpersons to improve existing policies and practices that will challenge transphobia and support the community.