Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Women on the Move in the Srihaswani Villages

We are pleased to share with you an article penned by our dear friend, Chandana "Mamlu" Dey. Chandana Dey is a co-founder of the Bhab Initiative in Santiniketan, West Bengal, India - a founding partner in the UNESCO/UNITWIN Network on Gender, Culture, & Development.  To read more about Women's Day in India and initiatives taking place in West Bengal, please see the article below:

"Young women are no longer content with only discussions. They are on the move. Recent initiatives include the ‘Solidarity March’ on the 8th of March. Some young people have started going for auxilliary nursing training in a Hospital in a neighbouring district. The aim is to provide trained nursing aides in each Bengal village, thereby providing a source of income for some and benefits for many.


Women’s Day March in town of Bolpur- (8 March 2014)
A visit by the organisation, Apne Aap that works on reducing the flow of human trafficking, in January 2014 to Santiniketan may lead to the establishment of a helpline for vulnerable women. The Srihaswani (Creative Manual Skills for Self-Reliant Development) team, ably led by Anuradha Ghosh, is likely to be at the forefront of this inititative. Anuradha has taken over the supervision of Srihaswani (AHIMSA) Project activities, once Chandana Dey (former project Coordinator) had to leave the area and shift to Delhi, as well as the fledgling tourism programme that helps raise funds for the development and educational activities in the ten villages."


Mothers’ discussion on nutrition and farming in the village of Darpashila, district of Birbum, West Bengal

Chandana Dey
New Delhi
10 March 2014

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Lecture on Chinese female migrant domestic workers co-sponsored by BU's Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies (WGS): Thursday, April 3rd

We're pleased to announce an upcoming lecture hosted by our collaborator, the Gender & International Development Initiatives group at the Women's Studies Research Center (WSRC), Brandeis University:

Exploring the Impact of Gender & Rural Lives on
Chinese Migrant Domestic Workers & their Subordination

Thursday, April 3, 2:30 - 4p.m.
WSRC lecture hall
Women’s Studies Research Center

(opposite the Brandeis-Roberts commuter rail stop)
Brandeis University
515 South Street

Waltham, MA 02453

Lecture and Q&A with Mei-Ling Ellerman
Mei-Ling Ellerman, Ph.D. Scholar at the Department of Political and Social Change, Australian National University (ANU), will explore how gender-based discrimination and dehumanization have shaped Chinese female migrant domestic workers’ identities, life decisions, and the ways in which they negotiate gendered inequalities and subordination.
Ellerman is an interdisciplinary social science researcher who focuses on Chinese domestic workers’ subordination; the themes of gender, power, and morality; and inequality, social change, and development in China.

Mei-Ling has conducted research for years on Chinese migrant domestic workers, estimated at over a quarter of a million in Beijing alone.

Co-sponsors:
Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program (WGS) at Boston University
Gender Working Group (GWG), Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University
Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, Brandeis University

Monday, March 17, 2014

Boston University's Dr. Shahla Haeri Sheds Light on Gender Disparities in South Asia


Dr. Shahla Haeri discusses
gender disparities in South Asia. 
We are happy to report that Dr. Shahla Haeri of Boston University and a Founding Member of our UNESCO/UNITWIN Network, was recently a panelist at a seminar hosted by BU's Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future. The seminar focused on the future of the South Asia Region and the recently released volume, South Asia 2060: Envisioning Regional Futures. Dr. Shahla Haeri and Dr. Brenda Gael McSweeney contributed "Patriarchy, Power, and Paradox: Dreaming Gender Equality and Development" to South Asia 2060.
During the seminar, Dr. Haeri talked about the serious gender disparity in the region that leaves women without political power or voice and living in poverty and dependence. In order to legitimize women's status as full citizens and achieve justice for women, Dr. Haeri said there needs to be a shift away from a strong tradition of patriarchy and a move toward an emphasis on a culture of 'male caring'. Haeri's co-author Dr. Brenda Gael McSweeney also called the group's attention to "Women in South Asia" by Anita M. Weiss, another paper on gender in South Asia 2060. McSweeney noted that this article too emphasized the role of girls' education for critical thinking in the region, like the Haeri/McSweeney chapter. In closing, the significance of pressure from civil society as a catalyst for change was stressed by Haeri. For a video of the seminar, please click here.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Dr. Diane Balser leads London Workshop

Dr. Diane Balser, faculty of the Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program at Boston University, was the primary leader of a workshop held in early 2014 in London for women and some men from many European countries. The workshop reached a truly international audience, including two women from India, several women and men from Israel and two women from Kenya.  The sessions were based on a peer counseling system in which participants explored their feelings and thoughts around issues, which pertain to the situation for women (primarily) and some men. The main issues included sexism and
more specifically violence against women, sexism in the workforce, child rearing, reproductive rights, marriage, sexism in education, and politics. She has been invited to conduct a forthcoming workshop in the Netherlands.

New Publication from Boston University's Women's and Gender Studies Faculty affiliated with our UNESCO/UNITWIN Network

We are pleased to announce the publication of On the Wonders of Land and Sea: Persianate Travel Writing, a comparative study of non-European travel writers in the eastern Islamic or Persianate world from the eighteenth to early twentieth centuries.


Edited by Dr. Roberta Micallef - Master Lecturer in the Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature at Boston University, and Dr. Sunil Sharma - Associate Professor of Persianate and Comparative Literature at Boston University, this compilation of essays discusses travel narratives by female and male Muslim and Parsi/Zoroastrian travelers in the Hijaz, Iraq, Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, India, and Europe. The authors' methodological approach places the texts in their socio-historical contexts and the travelers in their geographical locations, taking into account their gender and national identity.  (Source: here)

Dr. Savyasaachi of Jamia Millia Islamia Just Published!

Dr. Savyasaachi, a founding member of our UNESCO/UNITWIN Network, and Dr. Ravi Kumar, both of Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi, are co-editors of a new volume just published by Routledge, titled "Social Movements: Transformative Shifts and Turning Points." It analyzes such issues as difference feminism, protests against globalization, and legal opportunity in struggles, especially in South Asia.

The publishers highlighted the following:
"Mapping the development of social movements in South Asia, this book offers a penetrating study of the nature and modes of protest and dissent as manifest in people’s struggles in securing equity, justice and security in labour, gender, human and environmental rights.
Amid significant changes in society, economy and polity, combined with far-reaching consequences of globalization and neoliberalism, it situates the understanding of social movements within concrete experiences and examples of diversified resistances, collective dissensions and radical transformative mobilizations.
Through case studies and examples from across South Asia, that reinforce vibrant democratic dissent, this volume challenges the view that in recent years there has been a decline of mass movements in the region. Besides drawing attention to the interconnections between New Social Movements (NSMs) and Classical Labour Movements (CLMs), it discusses the patterns of development of growing NSMs, particularly in South Asia, such as the Zapatistas’ revolution; anti-capitalist movements; protests against globalization, Statism and difference feminism; and roles of language, money and legal opportunity in struggles.
This book will be of interest to students and scholars of sociology, social movements, politics, gender and feminist studies, labour studies, as well as the general reader."