The main theme for the South Asia Social Forum 2011 Bangladesh was set “Democracy for Social Transformation in South Asia: Participation, Equity, Justice and Peace”. This theme is to highlight and oppose the neo-liberal, hegemonic and authoritarian “poverty reduction” development policy and paradigm. The forum is intended to focus on this structural concern with a clear transformational agenda. However, there are various urgent and immediate economic, political and cultural concerns of the people, especially poor, women and marginalized communities, would be addressed in the forum. There are country specific issues and there are also regional and cross-country issues. All the issues are clustered in sub-themes.
Sub-Themes (key Issues) to be addressed in Forum 2011
• Participatory Democracy and People’s Movements:
Democracy as “competition for power”, local autonomy/self-governance, social movements, peoples organization, peoples planning, peoples control over natural resources, peoples movement against Neo-Liberalism.
• Responsive Governance:
Decentralization / local government, right to information, extrajudicial killing, rule of law, accountability, green governance, corruption, de-militarization.
• Gender and Sexuality:
Patriarchy, violence against women, violence against children, hegemonic masculinity, gender based violence, trans-gender.
• Human Rights and Dignity:
Fundamental human rights, children’s rights, youth rights, women rights, labor rights, farmers’ rights, migrants rights, rights of differently able people, Dalit rights, minority rights, rights of Indigenous peoples, right to shelter/housing.
• Fundamentalism, Conflict and Societal Peace:
Communal, ethnic, political party rivalry and conflict resolution/transformation, societal peace, multiculturalism, racism, secularism.
• Food Sovereignty & Livelihood Security:
Land and agrarian reform, corporate agriculture, food rights, hunger, land rights, seed rights, natural resource: (forest, water & mineral), solidarity economy.
• Public Services, Privatization and Entitlement:
Education, health (Public Heath Care, HIV/AIDS.), water, energy, transport, knowledge and technology and people’s entitlement.
• Globalization, justice and development:
People’s globalization vs. IFIs, trade justice, WTO, FTA, RTA corporate accountability, aid accountability, development finance. climate justice, environmental/ecological justice.
• Regional and Trans-boundary Concerns:
Regional cooperation, peace, solidarity, border security, religious extremism, communalism, caste, class and ethnicity, crime against humanity and war crimes, migration, trafficking, harnessing water resources for all the basin people through equitable sharing, disarmament and de-nuclearization.
• Media and Cultural Hegemony:
Corporate control of media, consumerism, sexism, intolerance, fundamentalism, alternative and peoples media.
The above program sub-themes are divided into fiver clusters (two sub-themes in each cluster) for effective arrangement of the events:
|Cluster – 1||Participatory Democracy and Peoples Movement
|Cluster – 2||Gender and Sexuality
Human Rights and Dignity
|Cluster – 3||Food Sovereignty and Livelihood Security
Public Service, Privatization and Entitlement
|Cluster – 4||Globalization, Justice and Development
Regional and Trans-boundary Concerns
|Cluster – 5||Fundamentalism, Conflict and Societal Peace
Media and Cultural Hegemony