Tributes And Reflections From Cassandra’s Colleagues At AWID
Cassandra Balchin was a freelance researcher, writer and human rights advocacy trainer with research interests in the areas of gender, culture and law.
She lived for many years in Pakistan, and was involved in initiatives seeking to strengthen women’s rights both from within the religious and human rights frameworks and well beyond. She worked with Shirkat Gah Women’s Resource Center in Pakistan, was part of the International Council of the Women Living Under Muslim Laws network and the Planning Committee for Musawah (global movement for equality and justice in the Muslim family), and served as Chair of the Muslim Women’s Network (UK).
Cassandra also served as Senior Research Consultant for the AWID initiative, Resisting and Challenging Religious Fundamentalisms (CF), since 2007. Her publications included the groundbreaking report on religious fundamentalisms and women’s rights, “Towards a Future Without Fundamentalisms”, the challenges facing development actors with regards to the role of religion in society, “Avoiding some Deadly Sins”, on Muslim family laws, including her contribution in drafting a model Muslim marriage contract, the first of its kind in the U.K., the Musuwah framework for actionand on legal pluralism and human rights. Her contributions also extend to many of the publications and analysis produced by the CF initiative.
Cassandra leaves two sons, many family and friends and a vast global network of friends and allies who will keenly miss her sharp insight and tireless commitment, as well as her boundless energy and warmth.
Tributes and Reflections from Cassandra’s Colleagues at AWID
Before Cass and I met in person, we worked together virtually for two years on the “Warning Signs of Fundamentalisms” website resource. She served as the WLUML liaison for the web resource shortly after her return to London, England, and I was managing the website on behalf of AWID. She struck me as brilliant and efficient, but abrupt, in a crusty British type of way… all qualities I would eventually come to value tremendously....Read More
"Farewell Letter to a Friend and Comrade..." - Lydia Alpizar
You are accompanied on this journey with the respect and love of so many of us around the world whose lives you have enriched in profound ways. Your passion, commitment, generosity and wisdom as a person and as a feminist is inspirational and will endure....Read More
"To live, to work and to love in line with our ideologies…" - Juan Marco Vaggione
I worked with Cass for many years as a research consultant with AWID’s Resisting and Challenging Religious Fundamentalisms initiative. Cass' contribution to the understanding of religious fundamentalisms, to thinking through different political strategies, to proposing newer and more nuanced readings of religion and politics, is enormous and I feel...Read More