This article focuses on South Asian women’s activism, and its impact on diversity and social development in South Asian communities in east London. It discusses the experience of the Newham Asian Women’s Project (NAWP), which is committed to secure social justice for women and children escaping domestic violence. The article examines the tensions between the global phenomenon of violence against women and women’s specific experiences of violence in different cultural settings. There is a parallel tension between universal responses to violence as a human-rights violation, and more culturally situated approaches. The article emphasises the ways in which NAWP’s work addresses gender, race, and class-based inequality, using participatory approaches to empower women and direct the strategy of the organisation. For South Asian women in Newham, activism emerges out of their everyday resistances to oppression, which are based on ideas of community and family.
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