African-American feminist and human rights activist Angela Davis on Saturday appealed to Indian President Pranab Mukherjee to repeal the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in Jammu and Kashmir. At a press conference in Mumbai, Davis called the law an instrument of oppression on the Kashmiri people and a symbol of state power and militarisation.
Such symbols and laws can only be challenged by “feminist voices, analyses and solidarities,” Davis said. The activist also praised those who had fought against the Act, including Manipuri activist Irom Sharmila. “I am utterly inspired by Irom Sharmila’s strength and perseverance,” she said.
Her appeal comes as part of a larger, global feminist campaign against the law. The campaign, initiated by Indian feminists, has been signed by 1,500 women from around the world, including Davis, Indira Jaising and South African women’s rights advocate Liepollo Lebohang Pheko. The campaign has urged Mukherjee to respond to their appeal and repeal the law in states where it has been imposed.