Tiruchirappalli: A Regional Association for
Women`s Studies has been launched, with as many as 26 Women`s
Studies Centres in South India joining it.
The RAWS aimed at creating a forum for healthy dialogue
between the various stakeholders including individuals, NGOs,
policy makers, researchers, academicians and those in power,
R.Kannan, Tamil Nadu Principal Secretary, Higher Education
Department, said at the inaugural function here yesterday.
The establishment of RAWS would sensitise society on
issues that affect women,he said.
Despite the increase in women`s upward mobility and in
the feminisation of workspaces, there were very worrying
indicators like a dismal sex ratio, female infanticide, sexual
harassment and female child labour, Prof N Manimekalai,
Secretary, RAWS, said.
The resolution passed at the meet included plea to
introduce a compulsory foundation course on gender studies at
the school and higher education levels and ensuring setting up
of an active committee to prevent sexual harassment of women
at workplaces and educational institutions, she said.
"More than a quarter of such centres are found in the south
of India, making it apparent that the region is far more
sensitised to the issues confronting women than the north,"
Susheela, Co-Chairperson, UGC Capacity Building for Women
in Higher Education, Delhi, said classrooms were the best
places to kickstart the movement.The need for the various
universities to update their curriculum to become more
inclusive of women`s studies was the other issue she placed