SAWF IN Economic And Environmental Justice Fellowship Applications Now Open

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  • Fellowship
  • India

Website South Asian Women Foundation India

About South Asia Women Foundation India (SAWF IN)

South Asia Women Foundation India, SAWF-IN is a national women’s fund of India. They were set up with the vision of building a world where women, girls, trans* and gender non-conforming persons realise their constitutional rights and freedoms to equality and non-discrimination. Their mission is to mobilise indigenous and other resources, to support movements and initiatives led by women, girls,
trans* and gender non-conforming persons, towards the realisation of their human rights.

As a women’s fund, SAWF-IN supports grassroots initiatives and women’s and trans* led organisations with financial and non-financial resources. They believe in their leadership and skills to find the most appropriate solutions to address the issues facing them. SAWF-IN’s role is to ensure that resources are made available and are reaching the most dispossessed women’s collectives, for the priorities they
identify, and the claims they make.

The Intersection of Economic and Environmental Justice

COVID-19, is not only a public health crisis but has also debilitated communities economically and socially. Several studies and reports confirm that the pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on girls, women and transgender people. Livelihoods of communities dependent on natural resources has been rendered increasingly vulnerable. Women in agriculture and allied activities, daily wage earners, running petty businesses etc. have suffered serious economic losses.

Transgender people, already living a life of stigma and exploitation, have been rendered far more vulnerable with fewer livelihood opportunities, and limited access to social protection and rights. The fallouts of the already worsening economic situation has been compounded by ecologically unsustainable practises. Market driven interests have led to heavy exploitation of natural resources and drastic changes in agricultural practices. It has also led to destruction of natural habitats and loss of livelihoods for those directly dependent on them. The experience of women’s groups shows that irrigation intensive farming in the hills has led to a decline in the water table,
which in turn has meant that women have to walk longer distances to fetch water. Similarly, mono cropping has impacted the availability of diverse and locally grown vegetables and greens, thus changing dietary patterns. The tacit knowledge held by women about medicinal plants, seed conservation and locally suitable cropping patterns have been eroded by mono cropping systems.

Women, who handle food security of the family and livestock are thus significantly impacted when the management of natural resources is planned without their core involvement. Therefore, while developing economic revival measures it is essential to incorporate women’s voices, aspirations and draw on their tacit knowledge of ecologically viable alternatives.

The Fellowship Programme

Through the fellowship programme, SAWF IN aims to support women and trans* led interventions on building economic resilience but in a manner that is also ecologically sustainable. In other words, the fellowship seeks to nurture practices and actions that will achieve economic justice outcomes using enviromentally robust strategies.

Economic justice implies equitable distribution of wealth, well-being and resources. And environmental degradation hinders the achievement of economic justice. Therefore, interventions that address both these themes have the potential to improve economic and environmental outcomes for women and trans* people, especially from marginalised communities.

Economic and environmental justice are being defined for the purposes of the fellowship to cover actions and practices that enable women and trans* to claim their entitlement over economic and environmental resources. It includes reinstating practices that nurture their natural habitats, culture and livelihoods. This could include a wide spectrum of interventions. A few illustrative examples are:

a) Advancing sustainable and ecologically sound livelihood practices
b) securing access to traditional food and livelihoods
c) advocating for special economic measures for women and trans* affected in ecologically fragile eco systems
d) strengthening market linkages
e) financial literacy and inclusion
f) skill building for exercising control over the value chain

Please note this is an illustrative list ONLY and can be expanded to include other context specific interventions.

They seek applications from individual women and trans* working independently or as part of collectives, to take forward actions and interventions which combine achievement of economic justice and improved environmental outcomes. Their effort would be to give preference to applications impacting regions which are ecologically fragile and in need of supportive intervention inputs.


    • Applicants with a minimum of 5 years of experience in their field of work and preferably below 40 years
    • Women/ Trans*/ gender non-conforming persons
    • Preference will be given to fellows who belong to the communities they intend to impact.
    • Citizen of India
    • Applicant should have shown demonstrated initiative in the areas of gender and education/gender and environment/ gender rights and justice
    • Persons with experience of engaging with communities of women or trans* people, facilitating their leadership or has been an active supporter of the Indian women’s rights movement
    • Self-motivated person.
    • Good articulation skills and willingness to document their work extensively
    • Has internet connection or phone connectivity to participate in fellowship updates, workshops and reporting


  • The last date for receiving applications is midnight of January 30th, 2021.
  • A Webinar will be organised to discuss the application call and process. Please log onto to for more details.
  • Applicants can expect an acknowledgement of their application within 24 hours of submission or else please get in touch with us on
  • Shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview on phone or online to be held in the third week of February, 2021
  • Finally selected fellows will be informed by end of February 2021
  • Fellowships will be initially for a year starting from March 2021, with the potential of extension subject to progress and outcomes at the end of year one.
  • While we are able to only support a limited number of fellowships we do want to remain engaged with all the shortlisted applicants. We would invite them to be part of our quarterly learning sharing cycle.
  • If you have any questions or queries please write in to
  • SAWF IN encourages application from people with disabilities (PwD). Please contact us on if you need any assistance with your application.

Submission Deadline: January 30th 2021, Midnight IST.

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