ReCon2019 urges one to rethink, reimagine, reboot

April 19, 2019 recon2

Reconference 2019 was organised by feminist human rights organisation CREA in Kathmandu, Nepal from April 10th – 12th. Here is a recap of the event:


The three-day brilliant and informative ReCon2019 saw more than 500 feminists, activist, artists and allies from over 50 countries gathering in Kathmandu, Nepal. The conference highlighted several main themes through multiple creative and highly engaging mediums including plenaries, art, exhibits, story-telling, dance, poetry, theatre, campaigns, slip reels, publications, presentations, paintings, podcasts, and workshops.

The themes focused on included abortion, consent, disability, environmental justice, pleasure and danger, sex work, sexual/gender diversity, sports and technology. The sessions on sports discussed the discriminatory practices that affect women in sports on grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, caste and ethnicity and how policy and legal frameworks that restrict and control women in sports could be improved.

Under the theme of environmental justice, one of the main panel sessions elaborated on environmental issues intersecting with issues of gender, disability, health, and human rights. It further discussed how the collective power of women and their leadership can address the inequalities they face as a result of environmental trends that act against women.

The conference also navigated through the complex world of technology, discussed the role and significance of technology in our daily lives and unpacked the opportunities as well as threats that come with its use.

In the area of sexual and gender diversity, the conference sparked the opportunity for alliance building particularly between multiple marginalised groups including the less-discussed intersex people.

Given that one of ARROW’s areas of focus is climate change, the team from ARROW screened and engaged in interactive conversations with the delegates through two documentaries focused on the linkages and opportunities for action on climate change in the context of sexual and reproductive health and rights among women and girls in the Philippines and Malaysia. These documentaries were produced as part of a project with ARROW’s partners in these two countries (Path Foundation in the Philippines and Penita in Malaysia).

Ultimately, the conference led people to rethink, reimagine and reboot the issues, challenges and ways forward in the above mentioned areas from an art, technology and feminist lens. The conference definitely encapsulated a bold and feminist approach at its core.


Shamala Chandrasekaran, ARROW