EMPOWER PEOPLE Blog
The IGLP Asian Regional Workshop was held in Bangkok, Thailand from January 5-11, 2017. I was fortunate enough to be one of the 56 research fellows and participants from over 45 countries, with 46 IGLP faculty members in collaboration. The participants and faculty members introduced themselves and briefly described their research interests and current projects. I was one of the very few students who came from a feminist and gender studies program, which meant either we stood out more or at times became slightly lost in the crowd of potential legal professionals. Nevertheless, when it was my turn to introduce myself and my project on the emerging issue of 'bride trafficking,' I was pleased to see the excitement and curiosity in people's faces.
During our first writing workshop session, I was the first one to present my PhD research project in progress. I received feedback from two commentators, Professor Ratna Kapur who is currently a visiting professor of Law at Queen Mary University in London, UK, and Dr. Yugank Goyal who is an associate professor at OP Jindal Global University. The audience also included a member of IGLP faculty, Professor Rachel Rebouche who teaches Law at Temple University Beasley School of Law and seven other participants from different countries and research interests.
Although I appreciate the constructive and helpful feedback from everyone who were present, I was most excited to see everyone become so engaged in discussing the issue of 'importing and exporting' girls and women for marriage in India. I received encouraging comments and feedback for taking up such an important yet overlooked subject to research on. Most importantly, the circulation of ideas and knowledge around the topic and related issues of forced marriage, female deselection, migration and labour were fascinating because they came from diverse fields and areas of expertise.
The highlight of my day was when Dr. Goyal (along with a couple of other participants later that day) recommended that I collaborate with Empower People to explore this subject area further. I was proud and happy to admit that I have been working with Empower People and they have been extremely responsive, active and cooperative since the very first day I made contact to join forces. It was my pleasure to share how wonderful my experience with Empower People has been and that their effort in community-based work to support survivors of bride trafficking is truly commendable. This organisation is not only helping me to advance my thesis project and fieldwork, but creating a difference and raising awareness for the issues they passionately work on by transcending local borders.