Kalyani Menon-Sen, Associate

What Kalyani does with G@W

Kalyani Menon-SenKalyani is involved in the Capacity Development program that aims to develop a curriculum and process for expanding and strengthening the pool of people who can facilitate our action learning program. She is also part of the Learning Collaboratory, and  a process documentation project with BRAC in Bangladesh. She is on the Advisory group for the Fellowship programme. 

Year she joined G@W


...and why

In Kalyani’s words: “I joined G@W because it gave me a chance to connect with others working at the interface of women's rights, equality and organizations. In the process, I have forged close friendships and found the perfect space to float new ideas and work through my confusions about life, work and the universe in general.”

Kalyani is focused on a campaign to overthrow the patent that blocks production of an affordable version of Trastuzumab, a life-saving and rapaciously priced breast-cancer drug.

Where else she has worked

Kalyani has had a long association with UNDP, where she has been part of most of the ups and downs of gender mainstreaming since 1998. Working with this huge (and hugely bureaucratic) system has not always been easy or pleasant, but she does feel that most of what she knows about organizational change has come from this involvement.

Other work on gender and institutional change

Kalyani works as an independent feminist researcher and activist. As a researcher, her work focuses on the impact of neo-liberal economic policies on women and as a feminist activist, she works with grassroots groups, helping them connect their own crises of survival with national and global policies. 

As a member of WSS (Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression), an activist platform, she writes and campaigns on the role of state agencies in perpetrating and condoning violence against women. She is also involved in supporting women who are fighting violence, harassment and discrimination in the workplace.She also writes and campaigns on issues of violence against women, particularly state violence and its link with economic policies.

She is the coordinator of a campaign to build support for the production of an affordable version of Trastuzumab, a  life-saving and rapaciously priced breast-cancer drug.  The campaign has achieved its first target – Swiss pharma major Roche has surrendered the Indian patent on Trastuzumab. An Indian company has now announced the launch of a biosimilar version of the drug, but the price may still be unacceptably high. The campaign is challenging the patent barriers and demanding that the government ensure access to the drug through the public health system. 

She is closely involved with struggles against the eviction and dispossession of the working poor in Delhi. Apart from her relationships with women's movement groups, she is associated with the Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF), a broad coalition of action groups and individuals who are challenging and resisting neo-liberal economic policies.

She also works closely with the National Union of Forest Workers whose women leaders are weaving feminist perspectives into their struggles for control of forest resources.

Dreams & Passions

  • Crime fiction (especially by women writers)
  • Music (Rabindra Sangeet and Hindustani classical)
  • Crosswords and word games
  • Dogs and cats
  • Dog videos, cat videos and dog-and-cat videos (the ones without any people are the best!)   


Email: kmenonsen@gmail.com