Hyderabad, August 10: The University of Hyderabad is hosting meeting of all the Directors of the different women’s Studies Centres across India on August 28th and 29th, 2011.
About 159 of them come to a common platform at the Centre for Women’s Studies in the University of Hyderabad, informed Professor Rekha Pande, the Head of the Centre for Women’s Studies in the University of Hyderabad, in press release.
This is the first time that any such event is being organized. Women’s Studies in India as a discipline have grown out of a concrete historical fact of the oppression and explorations of women and their struggle for liberation. By and large, academic scholarship had either ignored women, assumed their experiences were same as men (thereby overlooking the importance of gender as a dimension of analysis) or treated them as deviant, Hence, in the 1980’s the University Grants Commission (UGC), helped in establishing women’s studies in Indian Universities and Colleges as a critical instrument for social and academic development that will help in conscientising both men and women by helping them to understand, recognize and acknowledge the multi-dimensional roles played by women in society. Today the Women’s Studies Centers in different Universities are designed to act as catalysts for promoting and strengthening women’s empowerment through teaching, research, action, field work and extension. Based on their maturity, these Centers are divided into three different phases. Hence there are 28 Centres in Phase 1, 12 Centers in Phase 2 and 119 Centres in Phase 3.
For the first time there is an attempt to bring together all these Centres on a common platform to help them play key role in strengthening the women’s studies programme in the country. Issues like strengthening these Centres, mentoring, and sharing of experiences will form a part of this meeting. Women’s Studies can play a crucial role in empowering women and society at large by redesigning the curriculum, syllabus restructuring, teachers training, orientation, orientation of educational administrators and policy makers. Many Centers have taken text book review, revisions so as to incorporate the women’s dimension as well as eliminate the sex stereo types and sexist bias and reformulate the analytical concepts, research methodologies and data collection. It is hoped that these Centres can make the teaching and learning of women’s studies both issue centric and concept centric.