Womens' Studies Centre
Womens' Studies Centre was allocated to Punjabi University by University Grants Commission under XI Plan, established under the able guidance and dynamic leadership Dr. Jaspal Singh, Vice-Chancellor, Punjabi University, Patiala. Its main objective is the pursuit of a comprehensive critical and balanced investigation of the cause of gender disparity. Almost certainly the most pervasive human rights abuses in the world involve women who constitute half of world's population and are subjected to discriminatory policies virtually in all the counters. It also aims at revitalizing University education bringing it closer to burning social issues and working towards their solutions.
The globalized world of 21st Century is witnessing changes and these changes are occurring faster when compared to the earlier centuries. The new ways in which caste and communialism emerged during 1990s pose serious challenges to the women studies scholarship in India. The important issues about the invisibility, distortion and marginalization of gender as a category of analysis in main stream disciplines and their canonization need serious deliberations. The number of the organizations engaged in women's studies has tremendously increased in responses to the need felt by Acadamia, Planners, Scholars and Policy-makers to develop women's studies as a discipline with a core area of theory in an interdisciplinary framework and as a perspective to transform other disciplines to feminist perspective. With the objective of empowering women in all aspects of life women's studies has thus emerged as a discipline with a core of theory, within inter-disciplinary that's knowledge from social sciences, humanities and sciences. Moreover, the women studies perspective accept its implicit social responsibility to influence other disciplines to include the feminist perspective to increase women visibility in teaching, research and management in Universities and colleges by enhancing their academic strength and competence as well. Moreover, the policymakers world over have now realized that the real development cannot take place if they bypass the women against this back.
The main objectives of the centre is both academic and social they are to change the present attitude and values in society regarding women's roles and rights in one of equal participation in all social, economics and political processes. It also aims to revitalize University education, bringing it closer to burning social issues to work towards their solutions and to produce sensitive persons, able to play more committed and meaningful roles in the developmental activities for women in all the spheres. It also tries to fulfill its special responsibility for producing for all levels of the educational system, teachers who are aware of the need of non-sexist education who would actively pick up the challenge to promote value of equality including gender equality.
Women's Studies has thus emerged as a discipline with a core area of theory, within an interdisciplinary framework that draws on theories from other disciplines, that is, knowledge from various social sciences, humanities and sciences. As a new area of knowledge, it draws from its own studies and field action, while also utilizing such knowledge useful to it from the other disciplines, thus being interdisciplinary in focus. Further, it has accepted the implicit social responsibility to transform/influence other disciplines to include the feminist perspective, develop and empower women generally and more specifically increase their visibility in teaching, research and management in the universities and colleges by enhancing their academic strength and competence.
Admittedly, there is probably no society in which women do not experience some gender inequality, meaning subordinate status or inferior treatment in political, legal, social, or economic matters. Indeed, what would constitute a perfect society between men and women is a controversial topic with which we are not concerned here. However, exaggerated gender inequality is hard to miss. We define it to be present when, because of gender, one child is allowed to live while another is actively or passively killed. Offspring sex selection, almost universally used to favour male offspring, indicates that the life of a female in the society is not only not valued but actually despised. There can be no greater evidence of the extremely unequal and subordinate status of women in a society than the presence of prevalent offspring sex selection therein.
Aims and Objectives of the Centre :
* To help bringing a culture shift in attitudes/ values in society regarding women’s role and rights.
* To promote sensitivity and awareness among men and women of the need to develop capacity building of women.
* To bring University education closer to burning social issues.
* To conduct Research / Project on gender issues and to understand field action projects and extension activities.
* To compile regional data bank of research on women studies.
* To develop data base to strength struggle for gender equality.
* To update University curriculum by incorporating gender studies in undergraduate and postgraduate classes.
* To promote cooperation with different disciplines in teaching, curriculum design and extension activities.
* To encourage networking, cooperation and clustering with NGOs Neighbourhood campuses
and other colleges for the development and better understanding of gender issues.
To fulfill the above objectives the centre would be organizing activities in six broad areas : Research, Seminars / Panel discussions,workshops/ symposium, curriculum development/Teaching and Training , Advocacy/luster Building with the colleges and Extension activities.