The second day of the Guwahati workshop revolved around women’s work and decolonizing the mind. In the first session titled “Who is caring for and cleaning the world?”, the participants calculate the cumulative number of hours of invisible, unpaid labour they do everyday. The second session involved an exercise in decolonial thinking to interrogate concepts such as ‘gender’, ‘work’, ‘patriarchy’, ‘north east’, ‘tribe’ and ‘state’ that are naturalized in the participants’ everyday realities. It was followed by a session where participants shared their own experiences of how these terms intersected their lives. You can find photos from the first day here.

A view of the main building of Cotton University (formerly Cotton College).
The central courtyard next to the workshop venue offers a little greenery for the participants to enjoy.
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Participants from Nagaland with the new IIAS bags!
A view of the room with all the participants seated together for a session on women’s work.
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The invisible but ever-present mental load on women was discussed and the cumulative number of hours of unpaid, invisible labour of the attending participants was calculated. It emerged that the cumulative work of a single day of forty women came to more than 500 hours – which translates into 64 days of a normal 8-hour work day.
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The participants in break-away group sessions.
The participants represented academics from 15 educational institutions in the region as well as Naga women activists and groups.
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The conversations within the groups led to a number of interesting voices and points being raised which fed into the future sessions of the workshop.

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