Thursday, July 19, 2007

About the UNITWIN (University Twinning) Network on Gender, Culture and People-Centered Development

Welcome to the Gender, Culture and People-Centered Development community, seated at Boston University's Women Studies Program (WSP)! We are anticipating that this blog will allow readers to reflect and communicate on important gender issues that are shaping development. BU's Women Studies Program (WSP) directed by Dr. Shahla Haeri explores and analyzes the social, political and economic factors that influence women worldwide. (Source: WSP Website) Beginning this year, we will be participating with partners in India in UNESCO's university education twinning and networking scheme, UNITWIN.

The UNITWIN Program began in 1992 and aims to share information in all major fields within UNESCO. The goal is to promote North-South and South-South cooperation and communities of practice which will enhance institutions, primarily in developing countries. UNITWIN provides a platform for universities and research institutions to work with UNESCO to support national development efforts.

In September 2007,
Boston University with five prestigious partners in India will launch a UNITWIN Cooperation Program with UNESCO in the arena of Gender, Culture and People-Centered Development. The participating partners based in India are: Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi; Punjabi University, Patiala, Punjab; Visva-Bharati, Shantiniketan, West Bengal; The Bhab Initiative, Shantiniketan, West Bengal; and the Cultural Resource Conservation Initiative (CRCI)/The Lime Centre, New Delhi; in addition to Boston University's Women's Studies Program in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. This UNITWIN has been initiated and is coordinated by Dr. Brenda Gael McSweeney, now of Boston and Brandeis Universities, formerly a high-level United Nations official.

The two main objectives of this UNITWIN Network are to: promote an integrated system of research, training, information and documentation of activities in the field of women and gender studies; and, provide advice and expertise to assist partner countries in gender, culture and development studies. We will use this interactive space to share our work and exchange insights on gender and international development priorities!