Our Story

Who We Are.

Borne of the women’s continued resistance against imperialist globalization was the Asian Rural Women’s Regional Consultation held in the Philippines in 2007 (of 52 Asian women from 14 countries) followed by the Asian Rural Women’s Conference in 2008 held in Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu, India. The 2008 conference forged unity among the 700 rural women leaders, national women’s groups, regional networks representing peasants, agricultural workers, indigenous women, Dalit women, workers and migrants from around 21 countries in Asia and the Pacific. These processes paved the way in the formation of the Asian Rural Women’s Coalition (ARWC) in March 2008.

From then to present, ARWC had immensely contributed in putting forward the struggle for rights and interests of rural women in Asia, through supporting initiatives of Asian women within their countries (supporting advocacy work and local/national consultations, eg the State-level Conference of Dalit Women in India; GABRIELA’s national-level consultations); sharing information at the regional and international levels thru the ARWC list serve; and linking struggles of Asian rural women including active participation in regional and international fora, conferences and formations (recently, the formation of the International Women’s Alliance). In July 2010, ARWC co-sponsored the Conference on Women Resisting Crisis and War: A conference on the impacts and women’s responses to the economic and climate crises and war of the Asia Pacific Research Network (APRN). In August 2010, ARWC also became active during the Montreal International Women’s Conference. ARWC is also engaged in the international policy advocacy work through the Civil Society Forum of the FAO’s Committee on Food Security and developing the CSO’s Guideline on Land and Natural Resources Tenure for the FAO.

Asian Rural Women's Conference

Rural women make up the invisible majority in Asia. Our voices need to be heard. Our collective strength needs to be visible.

On March 6-8, 2008, the first Asian Rural Womens Conference held in Tamil Nadu, India gathered close to a thousand rural women all over Asia and became a venue for sharing, learning and building perspectives on Rural Womens Rights, Empowerment and Liberation.

The conference was hosted by the Tamil Nadu Womens Forum (TNWF), Tamil Nadu Dalit Womens Movement (TNDWM) and Society for Rural Education and Development (SRED).

One of the successes of the conference was the formation of the Asian Rural Womens Coalition (ARWC).




ARWC Declaration


ARWC is represented by a Steering Committee of national women’s alliances and regional women’s organisations in Asia working with rural and indigenous women:

Tamil Nadu Women’s Forum (TNWF) and Society for Rural Education and Development (SRED)

Kallaru, Perumuchi Village & Post
Arakkonam – 631002, Vellore,

Irene Fernandez

Tenaganita, Malaysia

P. Logeswary

Human Development Organisation (HDO), Sri Lanka

Emmi de Jesus and Emily Cahilog

GABRIELA National Alliance of Women’s Organisation, Philippines

Sita Poudel

All Nepal Women’s Alliance (ANWA), Nepal

Nimalka Fernando

International Movement Against All Forms of Discrimination and Racism (IMADR)

Saira Shameem

Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW)

Michelle Rogers

Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW)

Lucia Jayaseelan

Committee for Asian Women (CAW)

Lynnsay Francis

Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD)

Irene Fernandez

Coordination of Action Research on AIDS and Mobility (CARAM Asia)

Nova Nelson

Coordination of Action Research on AIDS and Mobility (CARAM Asia)

Sarojeni Rengam

Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific (PAN AP)