Center for Women's Advocacy Studies Trust

CEWAS (Center for Women's Advocacy Studies Trust) is a non-governmental and non-religious organisation in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, which is committed to social and legal empowerment of destitute women.

The idea for this project stems from the Indian advocate Saravana Biju, who encountered social injustice towards women in her daily work. She founded the organisation CEWAS (Center for Women’s Advocacy Studies Trust) in 2004. The project was implemented two years later in cooperation with the Swiss social anthropologist Nathalie Peyer. In February 2007 the CEWAS Support Association in Switzerland was founded to ensure the continuity of this project.

Despite its small size, the women's rights organization covers a surprisingly large area. In recent years, their community work was conducted in 70 villages and has thus reached around a 1,000 women.

The project is coordinated at the CEWAS center north of Madurai, headed by Saravana Biju and supported by five employees who visit the villages.


CEWAS, Madurai, India


Saravana Biju

Managing Trustee





CEWAS Support Association Switzerland

Kevin BaumannJPG

Kevin Baumann


Nathalie PeyerJPG

Nathalie Peyer


Melanie LerchJPG

Melanie Lerch

Board member