Sukhwant Dhaliwal

Sukhwant Dhaliwal

Sukhwant grew up in Southall in the shadow of an emergent anti-racist and black feminist movement but also during one of the earliest diasporic fundamentalist mobilisations - that of the Khalistani movement - which called for secession from the Indian state and the establishment of a Sikh theocracy. In her 20s she moved to east London and engaged with anti-racist politics, challenging racist mobilisations of the British National Party and the daily racial harassment of black residents. Overshadowed by male voices, she sought empowerment in women’s organisations speaking out against domestic violence.

Attending a Women Against Fundamentalism meeting in Conway Hall in the mid-1990s was an important marker for understanding how these various issues could fit together, and she joined WAF in 1995. Two years later she went to India to learn more about the roots of diasporic fundamentalisms and enrolled for a course at Delhi School of Economics. Sukhwant has recently completed a PhD entitled ‘Religion, Moral Hegemony and Local Cartographies of Power: Feminist Reflections on Local Politics‘ from the Sociology Department at Goldsmiths, University of London. She has worked with Asian women’s organisations challenging domestic violence in both Newham and Manchester and has worked with Southall Black Sisters. Over the last ten years, she has completed research projects encompassing a number of equality strands including: racism and racist violence; disability; age; religion and belief; and gender.