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                                                        Why Women's Studies ?





Women Studies emerged as a discipline within the university system in the late 70ís and 80ís. A clear body of theory  for analyzing the lives of women within the broad framework of gender, crystallized during this period.

The 1990ís however, saw a shift on the nature of the discipline. Moving away from its concern with gender equations in society, it opened up to accommodate diverse views from theoretical developments in the arts, languages, social sciences and so on. This development helped it to gain access to other disciplines and greater acceptability within the academic system.

The broad spectrum of Women Studies underwent further changes. In the initial stages women studies focused exclusively on the lives of women folk, it broadened to encapsulate the lives of men, third gender and other groups marginalized on the basis of their sexual orientations. The mandate of the discipline therefore underwent various changes from what it was conceptualized in the beginning.

Women Studies Centres are responding to the changes by keeping pace with the theoretical developments in the field. The Centres are now moving from merely undertaking teaching and learning to research and publication, curriculum design and material production and training of women personnel to occupy responsible positions in decision making. The idea here is to bring to the learning system winds of change that are sweeping across the academic world.

In the XII Plan period the Women Studies Scheme has encapsulated the Capacity Building Scheme to ensure synergy and complementarity in their functioning. Additionally research activities have been given a boost with a separate budgetary provision. Timely up gradation of Curricula in formal teaching programmes in Women Studies will be ensured through the Curriculum Development Programme.

The domain of Women Studies in the university system is therefore conceptualized with complementary units:

1) Development of Women Studies

2) Research and Publication

3) Curriculum Development and Material Production

4) Capacity Building of Women Managers in Higher Education

The strength of the system will depend on the mutual give and take among these sets of activities. They are seen as constantly evolving so that the gains of one will feed the other. It is only by ensuring the organic nature of the system that Women Studies as a discipline will constantly grow and gain greater heights and not suffer the bane of stagnation that may be seen elsewhere.

Learn More....

1. XII Plan Guidelines



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