“We share challenges and have a common goal”

SI alumni Japleen Pasricha, founder of “Feminism in India”, is the host in the podcast "Advocacy, Passion & Beyond: Voices from the SI Leader Lab". In the podcast Japleen speaks with leaders and activists across Eastern Europe, South Asia, and the MENA region, all alumni of SI Leadership Programmes, to understand the challenges they have faced in the past years and how they have worked around the limitations to continue the fight for social justice.
Graphic picture showing text and a photo of a woman in the middle.

Tell us a bit about Feminism in India and why you decided to do this collaboration with the Swedish Institute?

-Feminism in India (FII) is an award-winning digital, bilingual intersectional feminist media organisation to learn, educate and develop a feminist sensibility among the youth. I founded FII back in 2013 when I started my own journey as a feminist. 

– I found it to be an inspiring project to connect with other alumni of the programme and explore podcasts as a new form of digital storytelling. My organisation has already created two podcast shows previously so we had the technical expertise and creative know-how. Being an activist myself, what excited me most about the project was to speak with the SI alumni about campaigning and advocacy work in their countries and share best practices and learnings with them. 

You are alumni of SI Leader Lab, what has the programme meant for you?

-The SI Leader Lab programme is very dear to me. It has helped me grow as a more empathetic and kind leader and allowed me to meet like-minded people from Sweden, South Asia and the MENA region. Thanks to SI Leader Lab, I have made friendships that will last a lifetime and support me both personally and professionally. 

What are your reflections after recording all the episodes? 

-I enjoyed talking with the alumni guests and found that although we come from different regions and countries many of us share common challenges. For example, India and Pakistan just don’t share a border but also many cultural taboos and stigmas that hamper women’s health and safety. Speaking to Hira and Sonal from Pakistan made me realise how similar we are as people but unfortunately divided by borders and politics. 

Anything that stayed with you after recording and meeting all the panellists?

-I think what stood out to me was how even though we come from diverse cultures and regions, all of us had a common goal – equality and justice for everyone in our communities. 

The podcast “Advocacy, Passion & Beyond: Voices from the SI Leader Lab” is available here on Spotify, and also on Google, Apple Podcast, and all other podcast streaming platforms.

For more information on SI Leader Lab.