South Asian Sisters

South Asian Sisters is a diverse collective of progressive South Asian women dedicated to empowering our community to resist all forms of oppression through art, dialogue, conscious alliances, and grassroots political action. We are dedicated to organizing “Yoni ki Baat,” an annual performance that encourages women to speak out against violence and end the stigma around our bodies and our sexualities.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Yoni Ki Baat 2006 -- Deadline Extended!

please forward widely!


Yoni Ki Baat 2006

A brand-new selection of monologues, presented by South Asian Sisters

"Yoni ki Baat" is back for its fourth fabulous year!
We have confirmed that South Asian women are ready speak out about their bodies, their sexualities, and, yes, their yonis (yoni= vagina in Sanskrit)! This is an open call for our sisters to get creative and share any stories about their yonis, including topics such as, but not limited to:

* hair
* body image
* motherhood
* birth
* culture
* abuse
* menstruation
* smell
* genital mutilation
* orgasm
* pleasure
* masturbation
* sexual orientation
* rewriting stories
* reclaiming language (cunt, bitch, etc.)

Or, if you're stuck on what to write about, we've got some questions for you:

* What does your yoni enjoy most about being a south asian woman?
* Could you give up your razor (thread? wax?) for a month?
* Do you remember your first hair removal experience?
* Is your family or community desperate to marry you off?
* Has a well-meaning aunty ever gotten into your business?
* Have you ever "shocked" the aunties and uncles?
* What is the most frustrating issue in south asian culture facing women today?
* Which Bollywood heroine/ hero does your yoni pine for or aspire to be?
* What language does your yoni speak?
* What Bollywood film would your yoni star in?
* What Bollywood song would your yoni sing?
* What is your yoni's bio-data/ matrimonial?
* What name does your yoni prefer to be called by?
* What is the immigration status of your yoni?
* What is your yoni's weapon?
* What does your yoni smell like?
* If your yoni could run for president, what would be the first item on her agenda?
* If your yoni could say two words, what would they be?

Submissions will remain anonymous upon request and may be incorporated
into our upcoming "Yoni Ki Baat" show in the Bay Area.

If you've always thought about submitting a piece, this is the year to actually do it.

Please send any ideas, answers, poems, essays, stories, or musings --
we can't do the show unless we have your contributions! Your contributions create the mood and experience of the show, please share your voices with us!

Be on the lookout for more information about "Yoni Ki Baat" in the coming weeks.

Please send your submissions by June 1, June 30, 2006 to:


South Asian Sisters
1642 Fell Street
San Francisco, CA 94117

Sunday, April 09, 2006

South Asian Organizations' Statement on Immigration Reform

In light of the statement below, we urge everyone to attend an April 10 event.



For More Information:

Deepa Iyer, SAALT (National) 301-589-0389

Amardeep Singh, Sikh Coalition (NYC) 212-655-3095

Hamid Khan, South Asian Network (Los Angeles) 562-403-0488

For a Full List of Organizations, Please See Below.

As representatives of organizations that serve South Asians across the United States – from empowering women, workers and youth to protecting the civil rights and liberties of ethnic and religious minorities – we see firsthand the impact of the immigration system on our community. As Congress prepares to pass the broadest immigration reform law in decades, we urge lawmakers to adopt sensible and humane solutions to fix the broken immigration system in the United States.

The South Asian community is predominantly foreign-born, with individuals tracing their backgrounds to Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the diaspora, including the Caribbean, Africa and Europe. Any immigration law passed by Congress will undoubtedly affect the entire community as well as future immigrants.

Our organizations have already witnessed the impact of anti-immigrant sentiment, xenophobia and ill-conceived policies implemented by federal, state and local law enforcement on the South Asian community. We assist low-wage workers who work in the domestic service, restaurant and retail industries and often face difficult conditions and exploitation in the workplace. We advocate on behalf of survivors of domestic violence who are in need of assistance from social workers, lawyers and counselors. We hear from South Asians who have been waiting for years to be reunited with their family members due to the enormous backlog of visa applications. And we provide services to South Asian youth, many of whom are undocumented and are denied avenues to citizenship and higher education.

Congress has an opportunity now to identify humane and sensible measures to address many of these situations. However, the House of Representatives disappointed immigrants in December of last year by passing a bill that would criminalize those with undocumented status and would make the provision of services to undocumented immigrants a violation of the law in some contexts.

Now, it is the Senate’s turn to pass a bill on immigration issues. Two bills are before the Senate right now – one that passed the Judiciary Committee, and another introduced by Majority Leader Senator Frist. Both contain harsh enforcement provisions which would take a significant toll on immigrant communities around the country.

While the Senate bill that passed the Judiciary Committee contains some positive provisions - including the legalization of over 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US and the expansion of educational and vocational opportunities for young people with undocumented status – its harsh stance towards enforcement of immigration law undercuts many of the highlights. These enforcement provisions would allow non-citizens to be indefinitely detained; would criminalize minor offenses such as the failure to file a change of address form; and would give local police the authority to enforce complex immigration laws locally, paving the way for mistakes, profiling, and distrust.

Legislation that does not balance the civil rights of immigrants will lead to separated families, isolation and fear, and distrust of law enforcement and government officials. We believe that our country’s immigration policies must reflect fundamental civil and human rights principles, which include:

· Establishing a path to permanent residency and citizenship for undocumented immigrants

· Opposing criminalization of undocumented status and expansion of grounds for indefinite detention.

· Reducing the visa backlog by eliminating visa caps and expediting the processing of applications

· Promoting citizenship and civic participation

Our organizations come together from Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Jersey, San Francisco, New York, and Washington, DC to urge lawmakers to pass legislation that embraces these principles. We also make this statement today to urge our community members to make their voices heard to lawmakers about the urgency for fair immigration reform.


Adhikaar (New York City)

Andolan (New York City)

Alliance of South Asians Taking Action (San Francisco)

Coney Island Avenue Project (New York City)

Desist (San Francisco)

Desis Rising Up and Moving (New York City)

Friends of South Asia (San Francisco)

Manavi (New Jersey)

Narika (San Francisco)

Raksha (Atlanta)

Sakhi for South Asian Women (New York City)

Sikh Coalition (New York City)

South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow (Washington DC area)

South Asian Progressive Action Collective (Chicago)

South Asian Sisters (San Francisco)

South Asian Network (Los Angeles)

South Asian Youth Action (New York City)