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Convert Women Study Centres into permanent departments

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(File Photo)

Regional Association for Women’s Studies (RAWS) at its recent meeting adopted a resolution urging the State Government to issue a government order to convert all the Women Study Centres (WSCs) in universities and colleges into permanent departments with statutory status.

As an interim measure, the University Grants Commission must ensure payment of emoluments and salary to staff and faculty members of WSCs, N. Manimekalai, Director and Head, Department of Women's Studies, Bharathidasan University, who was a participant of the Regional Convention on 'Current Status of WSCs- Way Forward' organised by the Centre for Women’s Studies, Justice Basheer Ahmed College (JBAS) Chennai, said.

Participants representing WSCs from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Puducherry took part in discussions on several topics including history of women’s movements; the intersectionalities of class, caste, religion, race and gender; critical analysis of the functioning, performance, and contributions of Women Study Centres; the gap; and the need for strengthening and expanding the perspectives.

In the process of institutionalization of Women’s Studies, an analysis of the gains and losses to universities and society must be made, the speakers at the meeting said.

A signature campaign was also initiated urging the UGC and the State Government to fulfil their requirements, Prof. Manimekalai who is also RAWS Secretary, said.

Other resolutions included suggestion to the Central and State governments to introduce Foundation Course on Women’s/Gender Studies in Schools and Colleges on the lines of Environmental Studies; introduction of Gender/Women’s Studies in B.Ed and M.Ed Courses; inclusion of Women’s Studies/Gender Studies content in competitive exams like UPSC, State Service Commissions, State Eligibility Test (SET) and UGC NET; and promotion of awareness on Women’s Studies/Gender Studies Books in vernacular languages.

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