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.