Southall Black Sisters

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Southall Black Sisters (SBS) is a non-profit all-Asian organisation based in Southall, West London, England. This Asian women's group was established in August 1979 in the aftermath of the death of anti-fascist activist Blair Peach, who had taken part in a demonstration against a National Front rally at Southall Town Hall.[1][2]

The SBS was originally established in order to provide a focus for the struggle of Asian women in the fight against racism, but became increasingly involved in defending the human rights of Asian women who are the victims of domestic violence and in campaigning against religious fundamentalism.[2]

Throughout most of its existence, the group's primary campaigners have been Anita Sharda, Pragna Patel, Meena Patel and Hannana Siddique.[2] Gita Sahgal, the writer and journalist (on issues of feminism, fundamentalism, and racism), film director, and human rights activist, has also been an active member of the organization.

They are best known for the role they played in the Ahluwalia case in 1989 when a woman named Kiranjit Ahluwalia set fire to her abusive husband. They supported her in the case, and were eventually successful.

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 2010 the organisation was awarded Secularist of the Year by the National Secular Society, in recognition of their support of black and Asian women's human rights.[3]

In July 2015, Pragna Patel was a co-recipient of the inaugural Bob Hepple Equality Award, alongside Mauro Cabral of Global Action for Trans Equality.[4] The award is named for Bob Hepple, the former lawyer of Nelson Mandela.[5]


  1. ^ Benn, Melissa (27 July 2000). "Sisters of mercy". The Guardian (Guardian News and Media). Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c 'Against the Grain', SBS Tenth Anniversary book, 1989.
  3. ^ "Secularist of the Year prize awarded to Southall Black Sisters". National Secular Society. 14 Feb 2010. Retrieved 31 Mar 2015. 
  4. ^ "The Inaugural Bob Hepple Equality Award Celebrates Equal Rights Activists and Advances Support to their Cause". Oxford Human Rights Hub. July 21, 2015. Retrieved 2015-08-01. 
  5. ^ Law Society Gazette (July 2015). "Mandela lawyer award winner announced". Law Society Gazette. Retrieved 2015-08-01. 
  • Gupta Rahila (ed.) (2003) From Homebreakers to Jailbreakers: Southall Black Sisters London: Zed Books

External links[edit]