Women occupy a very special position in the society. The rise of feminist ideas has however from time to time led to tremendous improvement in womens’ condition. Women’s education in a way plays a very important role in the overall development of the country.
Keeping in mind the present state of women in the country the ‘Savitribai Phule Women’s Studies Centre’ at the University of Pune has come up with an all new course in gender, culture and development, commencing this year itself. This womens’ study centre in the city has been formally established by the Department of Sociology, under UoP. This center has no doubt done immense work for women. Both Mahatma Phule and Savitri Phule started the first school for girls in 1848 in this city. Savitri Phule is also credited to be the first woman teacher of modern India.
Since March 1997, the centre has been granted an autonomous status by the UGC. This branch offers womens’ study in a fairly new and different way and has emerged as a completely inimitable academic discipline. The centre has come up with its all new formulations defining new methods and to implement them into the knowledge system thereby making them feasible for the women. The tools and techniques designed, justify the denial of justice or equity for women and make them trivial and unseen.
Womens’ Studies has thus emerged as a discipline with a core area of theory, within an interdisciplinary framework that draws on theories from other disciplines, that is, knowledge from various social sciences and humanities. As a new era of knowledge, it draws from its own studies and field action, while also utilising such knowledge useful to it from the other disciplines, thus being interdisciplinary in focus. Further, it has accepted the implicit social responsibility to transform other disciplines to include the feminist perspective, develop and empower women generally and more specifically increase their visibility in teaching, research and management in the universities and colleges by enhancing their academic strength and competence.
The course offers to engage students in research in gender studies at the levels of policy and practice. This course which has started in Pune is one of its kinds in the country. Students enrolling for this course can work as gender experts in the fields of electronic media, print media as well as information and communication technology and this brings all the three disciplines under one roof. Not to mention the development sector also remains open for the students in this course.
This degree course is launched to provide the participants the knowledge, skills as well as information in the said field. The overview of the curriculum shows that this two years masters degree course is spread over four semesters including four papers of 100 marks each. Apart from the class room teaching the course also involves special workshops, films and field visits.
This course will also play a very important role in examining through a gender lens, the inter-linkages between cultural practices, communal processes and development approaches as well as understanding feminism both in local and global context.
Apart from this full time M.A. course the center also offers a part time PG Interdisciplinary Certificate Course in Women’s Studies, a full time PG Interdisciplinary Diploma in gender, culture and development as well as a part time undergraduate Interdisciplinary Certificate Course in Women and Development.
So if any of you readers out there are planning to get enrolled in any kind of media or get into the development sector then this course may be a rewarding step in your career.