Columbia Global Centers | Mumbai, 12-13, Maker Chambers VI, First floor, Jamnalal Bajaj Road, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400 021
As part of its Higher Education Reform initiative, Columbia Global Centers | Mumbai invites you to an event on May 2, 2019, that highlights current frameworks for creating gender equity in universities and colleges in India.
According to a 2018 Government of India report, female enrollment in higher education rose to 47.6% of total enrollment, representing a quarter of the female population in the 18-23 years demographic. At the same time, issues of sexual harassment, gender-based violence and discrimination on educational campuses persist and hinder educational equality and justice for female students. While initiatives like the University Grants Commission-instituted Internal Complaints Committees and Women’s Development Cells exist in colleges to tackle issues of sexual misconduct and expand gender sensitization on campus, their ability to effect change needs further assessment.
A lecture presented by Dr. Leena Pujari, followed by a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Ravina Aggarwaland featuring Dr. Gita Chadha and Dr. Nandita Shah, will deliberate gender gaps and address key programs and best practices undertaken in universities and colleges to foster gender equity and sensitization among students and staff. Panelists will explore how organizational, regulatory and curricular changes could create more gender inclusive, respectful and just educational campuses in India.
Dr. Leena Pujari is a feminist sociologist and researcher who believes in teaching for social transformation and nurturing critical and analytical minds. Currently, she is Associate Professor and Head, Department of Sociology at K.C. College in Mumbai. Her most recent publications include 'Doing Sociology of Gender in the Classroom: Re-imagining Pedagogies' published by Sage, 'Transforming the Sociology Classroom: Implementing a Critical Feminist Pedagogy' in an edited volume published by Routledge, and 'Sexual Harassment is Endemic in Academic Spaces: An Insider's Perspective' published in Economic and Political Weekly. As member of the Board of Studies in Sociology at the University of Mumbai, she has contributed extensively to curriculum design and development, especially in the field of Feminist Sociology. Among her several meaningful initiatives and programs as Convener of the Gender Issues Cell of her college, is a Certificate Course in Gender Studies to help build a critical feminist perspective among students, setting up a Legal Cell to provide free legal counseling to students and staff members on issues of domestic violence and sexual harassment.
Gita Chadha is a faculty member at the Department of Sociology, University of Mumbai, India. She has a doctorate in sociology and has taught at undergraduate colleges at the Mumbai University, and on the International programme of the University of London in Mumbai. She has developed frameworks for feminist archiving at the Research Centre for Women’s Studies, SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai, India. Dr. Chadha has designed innovative pedagogic initiatives for integrating science and social science teaching. Her publications include a co-edited volume called Zero Point Bombay, several articles on science criticism, two volumes on Feminists and Science (co-edited with Sumi Krishna), Re-Imagining Sociology in India: Feminist Perspectives (co-edited with M.T. Joseph), and special issues for Contributions to Indian Sociology and Economic and Political Weekly. She is the Chairperson of the University Women’s Development Cell of the University of Mumbai since 2016 and is a Board Member of Akshara. Her research interests lie in science studies, feminist theories and post-colonial studies. She has also collaborated with women artists and poets in building common understandings of feminist art practices in India.
A feminist activist and researcher, Dr. Nandita Shah is the Co-founder and Co-director of a non-profit and women’s rights organization called Akshara Centre. With experience of over 25 years, Dr. Shah has been strengthening the women’s movement through her activism and writing at the regional, national as well as international level. By mobilizing support from corporates, the media and celebrities and by using her expertise to lead institutionalized initiatives with the police and local authorities, Dr. Shah has been working towards creating safer cities for women and enhancing the reach of feminist agendas. With a PhD in social science from the University of Amsterdam, she has taught Women’s Studies for over 8 years and was recently invited to the University of Connecticut as a visiting professor. She has been on several expert committees, including Gender Rights with the Planning Commission, drafting women’s policy in Maharashtra, and the Civil Society Advisory Group of UN Women.