• Gender and Sexuality


    Country Assessment on Human Rights in the Context of Sexual Health and Reproductive Health Rights (2018)

    This report is the first national inquiry on sexual and reproductive health undertaken by PLD and SAMA on behalf of the National Human Rights Commission. It maps critical concerns pertaining to sexual health and reproductive health as two distinct but partially overlapping concerns in the context of India. The distinct and separate elaboration of the two thematic domains have been dealt with in parts I and II of this report respectively.

    Sexual and reproductive health rights have been progressively enshrined under various international covenants and policy instruments. This accords sexual and reproductive health recognition within a right based framework and obligates the State to ensure their protection, promotion and fulfillment.


    The Rape Law and Constructions of Sexuality  (2018)

    This resource book explores the role of law in regulating female sexuality, by contextualizing the rape law within the broader socio-cultural understanding of gender and caste as sites of power and privilege. Written in simple language, it is intended to make accessible a critical understanding of sexuality as a site of power, state control, and political struggle for those sections of activists and change agents who have little or no access to such resources on the law. This resource book is designed to complement PLD’s trainings, while also being a stand-alone reading for students and social workers alike. It may also be of interest to those curious about feminist critiques of sexuality and the law.


     National Consultation on Adolescent Sexuality, Health and the Law: Mapping Interventions (2017)

    Partners for Law in Development in partnership with CEHAT and RCI-VAW, TISS organized a two day consultation to understand how policies and programmes relating to adolescents interact with each other to impact adolescents in self-arranged sexual relationships.  50 participants from 30 organizations working with adolescents across domains of health, education, sexuality and the law, came together to discuss the specificities of challenges and opportunities presented by laws and State programmes, and  the approaches they adopt to navigate such challenges.


    SnapshotCritical Reflections: Exploring the Continuum between Sexuality and Sexual Violence (2015)

    The four volumes are compilations of the rich, vibrant discussions from the Roundtable on Exploring the Continuum between Sexuality and Sexual Violence on April 28, 2015, representing each of the panels. ‘Critical Reflections‘ is our endeavour to share the nuanced perspectives that emerged from the roundtable with the larger movement, to initiate and sustain dialogue on protectionist frameworks arising from an exclusive focus on sexual violence, to the neglect of concerns of sexuality.


    i) Marriage, sexuality and the law

    ii) Speech, sexuality and the law

    iii) Criminalisation and sexuality

    iv) Feminist Praxis and dialogue



    Rights in Intimate Relationships(2010)

    The resource book ‘Rights in Intimate Relationships’ seeks to understand rights in intimate relationships within a framework that recognizes rights for all women regardless of their sexuality, marital status, or legality of relationship. In proposing a framework based on ‘intimate relationships’ it moves beyond the boundaries of the exclusivist, marriage centric framework of conjugality in the law. The resource book examines customary and contemporary non normative intimacies in rural and urban India from a feminist perspective, relies upon constitutional, comparative and human rights law, to explore a transformatory rights agenda in respect of the family.



  • Violence Against Women



    Workshop Report: The Journey From victim to Survivor, Challenges for Justice (2016)

    This report has come out of our national workshop on “The Journey from Victim to Survivor: Challenges for Justice”, organized jointly by CWDS and PLD in February 2016 in memory of Professor Lotika Sarkar. With participation of women’s rights, child-rights, disability rights, minority rights, Dalit rights, queer rights activists and counsellors amongst others, the workshop sought to understand justice in terms of recovery and healing of victims of violence. Victim-centric interventions like compensation, comprehensive crisis support, shelter-homes and counselling were some themes discussed.  The report captures the presentations and discussions on each of the themes.



    Booklet on Protection of Children against Sexual Offences Act (POCSO)

    The resource book in Hindi on Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POSCO), 2012 titled ‘Bal Yaun Soshan par Kanoon’ was published in 2016. The comprehensive, context specific book discusses the law, its background, objectives and scope, as well as its core concepts; it details the offences, procedures and special mechanisms constituted to implement the law, incorporating relevant provisions from the Juvenile Justice Act, Criminal Procedure Code and the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, in addition to the main law, POCSO.


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    Booklet on Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Available in Hindi and Telugu)

    The book ‘Karyasthal Par Mahilaon Ka Yaun Utpeedan’ is a comprehensive guide on The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013. Written in simple language, it is accessible to grassroots workers, committee members and lawyers alike, and enables implementation of the Act in a gender-just manner. The guide explains the provisions of the legislation, and also administrative and civil procedures not spelt out in the Act, but necessary to conduct inquiries as per the rules of natural justice. The book was published in Hindi in 2015 and in Telugu in 2017.


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    Contemporary Practices of Witch Hunting: A Report on Social Trends and the Interface with Law (2015)

    This socio legal study, the first of its kind in India, provides evidence of contemporary social trends of witch hunting, and the interface of witch hunting related victimization with law. It draws upon a variety of sources: case studies from select blocks in the districts; police records collected from Jamui, Bilaspur , Gumla and Ranchi for the years 2010 to 2012; and High Court and Supreme Court judgments from ten states.The study thus offers an evidence based critique of current trends in law and policy making in response to incidences of witch-hunting.



    Witch Hunting in Assam: Individual, Structural and Legal Dimensions (2014)

    The report based on a study undertaken collaboratively by the three organizations, draws its findings from police reports and 16 case studies of victims from Goalpara and Sonitpur districts of Assam. Using ethnographic data, the report highlights the continuum of violations connected with witch hunting, also bringing into focus structural causes that make it possible to rationalize conflicts and losses through witch hunting; It points towards gaps in law and justice in police inaction and lack of preventive and reparative measures that enable a continuum of violations.



     A Study of Pre-Trial and Trial Stages of Rape Prosecution in Delhi (2014-2015)

    A report of a by PLD to monitor compliance with gender sensitive procedures in rape prosecutions. Conducted under the aegis of Department of Justice and the UNDP, the report draws upon trial monitoring of 16 cases of rape across 4 fast-track courts in Delhi, victim interviews, examination of case records and comparative and domestic law research. It concludes with recommendations that seek to strengthen victim centric measures to support women prosecuting rape.



    Summary Findings of PLD’s Study on Rape Trials in Delhi (2013)

    A four page summary document of PLD’s report on Rape Trials in Delhi.







    Piecing Together Perspectives on Witch Hunting: A Review of Literature (2013)

    From the European witch-craze in the 16th century to modern day African witchcraft beliefs and contemporary cases of violent witch-hunting in India, history has been witness to witch-hunting across time and place. Why have witch-hunts taken place in the past? What makes them endure to the present? How are witchcraft beliefs different from place to place? What is the role of gender in witch-hunting? This review of diverse materials including scholarly articles and NGO reports tries to answer these questions and more from a feminist perspective, and attempts to piece together varied understandings on witch-hunting so as to find ways forward in which to respond to ongoing attacks on women in the name of witch-hunting.


    Witch hunting report

    Targeting of Women as Witches: Trends, Prevalence and the Law in Northern, Western, Eastern, and Northeastern Regions of India (2012)

    The report is an outcome of 3 consultations held in Northern, Eastern, Western and Northeastern regions of India by PLD in partnership with state organisations, with the support of the NCW. The report maps the trends of violations inflicted on women in the name of witch hunting, its repercussions, and the role of the state and the law.  The report also offers recommendations that are instrumental to advance justice to the survivors of witch-hunting.

  • Women, Culture and Access to Justice


    Negotiating Gender Justice, Contesting Discrimination (2010)

    This report documents diverse strategies adopted by community groups in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia and Nepal to negotiate women’s rights in the context of culture, while grounding the strategies in the specific political – historic local and national contexts. It looks at secular strategies along with the more recent responses to fundamentalism,that use of cultural identity and religious/ cultural resources.





    Intersections Between Women’s Equality, Culture & Cultural Rights (2010)

    This report documents the process of understanding cultures and cultural transformations that embrace and promote women’s rights. It involved mapping discursive interventions across Bangladesh, Indonesia, India and Nepal.






    Fundamentalisms in Asia Pacific (2008)

    These admittedly political strategies that use cultural resources seek to contest not just sex discrimination, but also the orthodox, elite, male monopoly of cultural leadership. The report provides a rich account initiatives that promote culture as relational, transforming, plural and accommodating of women’s rights, and in doing so, challenge dominant static and fundamentalist assertions of culture.



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    Gender and the Law (2006)

    The report is an outcome a workshop held in Puri, Odisha in 2006. The workshop was aimed at developing an understanding of the relative concept of gender law and human rights and the relation between these. It further aimed to develop an understanding of the concept of gender in general, its implications for individuals, family, society, State and legal system.





    Women and Access to Justice (2006)

    This conference report consolidates the concerns of activists, judges, lawyers and academics on barriers to accessing the legal system for women. Documenting voices of women pursuing justice through the law, perspectives of support/ service providers, and the judiciary, the report identifies the structural, operational and substantive barriers to accessing gender justice. In doing so, it highlights the divergent of notions of justice – contrasting those of the women pursuing justice and the different actors in the legal process.

  • CEDAW and Human Rights

    The primary resource book on Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is ‘Restoring Rights to Women’, which is available in English, Hindi and Malayalam. In addition, there are reports of training programmes on CEDAW and resource packages that compile readings on human rights of women, international law and relevant comparative law and regional documents.

    These resources complement and are drawn from training workshops and consultations on the respective themes
    To download soft copies of the resources or purchase hard copies, email

    Status of Gender Equality in India – Joint Stakerholders Report for the 3rd Universal Periodic Review on Women and LGBTI Issues (2012-2016)

    Endorsed by 183 organisations and individuals, this joint stakeholder report was submitted towards the 3rd cycle of India’s Universal Periodic Review conducted by the Human Rights Council on May 4, 2017.



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    Developing Capacities for Strengthening the Application of CEDAW: A Trainers’ Guide (2012)

    This guide focuses on knowledge content and perspective, illustrations and examples, communication tools and application  exercises, all of them meant to be adapted or borrowed selectively at the discretion of the user. It is designed to meet the varied  needs of the users/trainers, and the diverse constituencies with which they work.



    Narrative Report SA Inter Govt. Peer Learning CoverSouth Asia Inter Governmental Peer Learning CEDAW: Reporting and Implementation (2009)

    This Report is a narrative of the Peer Learning workshop that took place in Nepal from 26th – 28th August 2009. The objectives of the workshop, which is reflected in the report, was to provide a platform for learning and exchange of knowledge/information/experiences on a) the key elements of the cedaw reporting process; b) process of implementing CEDAW concluding comments; c) identifying areas of technical assistance for reporting, implementing and monitoring CEDAW.



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    South Asia Training of Trainers (2006)

    This report seeks to provide the building blocks to CEDAW training for wider use. The workshop, of which this report is an outcome, had certain specific objectives including the creation of awareness of the concepts and mechanisms pertaining to CEDAW. It also sought to enhance clarity on treaty regimes and CEDAW as effective tools for planning development and accessing rights for women.



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    Restoring Rights to Women (2005)

    This book principally aims at enhancing and deepening the understanding on CEDAW, its coverage and potential. It therefore covers conceptual, substantial and contextual issues, addressing complexities within each, to provide information as well as encourage dynamic inquiry and application of the Convention. Available in English, Hindi, Oriya and Malayalam. To view the report in the following languages please click here: English, Hindi, Oriya, Malayalam



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    A Digest of Case Law on Human Rights of Women (Asia Pacific) (2003)

    This is a Asia Pacific Forum on Women Law and Development Publication, to which PLD has contributed.

  • Law, Society and Social Justice


    IWAWIWRAW Asia Pacific Occasional Papers Series No. 7 (2005)

    This is a International Women’s Rights Action Watch, Asia Pacific publication, to which PLD contributed.



    IWAWWeaving Law into Community Action (2004)

    TA review of 6 years of PLD’s partnership programme. It profiles the work of the field-based partners, discusses PLD’s contribution to their work and assesses the impact of collaborations giving insights into the gains and challenges of such partnerships.




    women-intl-human-rights-lawWomen and International Human Rights Law (2004)

    This workshop report explores the dominant understanding of human rights in relation to events in South Asia, pointing out its limitations in relation to women before moving on to discuss the relevance of CEDAW to human rights of women. Examining CEDAW through its core concepts, strategies for application at the local, national and international levels, this report is useful tool for understanding the treaty at work. In addition, the report mentions other special mechanisms for women within the UN human rights system.




    Vyakalpik Kanooni Prakriyaya (2003)

    Literally, this translates into ‘alternative law processes’. This report is a Hindi trans-creation of ‘Beyond Appearances’.






    Beyond Appearances (2001)

    The title, like the report, alludes to applications and practice of law beyond the courtroom and court appearances. It documents field-based strategies in alternative law in different parts of India, setting out the relevance of alternative law practices for social justice in the context of India.





    Common Property Resources and the Law (2002)

    The workshop report outlines the conceptual framework of CPR, identifying challenges within the law. It documents the rich discussions on legal strategies used by field-based activists for asserting rights in relation to forest, water and land within the framework of CPR.




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    Human Rights: Concepts, Law & Challenges (2002)

    This workshop report typifies approaches to conducting a state-level programme on human rights. It contains tools to facilitate discussion on the human rights norms, contextualising universal norms in relation to local issues and strategies and provides the national framework for justiciability of human rights.





    Law and Social Action (2001)

    The workshop report outlines the diverse ways in which groups in India are integrating law in social action, discussing perspectives on action research, advocacy, quasi-legal intervention and legal literacy. It then documents the discussions on possibilities and limitations as experienced by PLD and its partner organisations in relation to specific issues and contexts.



    Role of Law

    Role of Law in Development (2000)

    This workshop report focuses on alternative legal processes through three-way collaborations between community groups, local lawyers and PLD. This report documents group discussions on case studies that surface the political economy of law and the creative strategies in law to challenge marginalization.

  • Our Publications

    Our resources can be classified broadly into three overlapping categories to correspond to the knowledge-production projects. They endeavour to be accessible to trainers, NGOs, lawyers, and senior field workers. We are committed to its wide dissemination and usage to promote educational and social justice goals.

    Excerpts of our resources are available on this website. To get copies of the material, please do write to

    We look forward to suggestions for improvement and feedback on the ways in which the resources have come handy in your work.