M. A in Women’s Studies is a two-year interdisciplinary program informed by contemporary feminist theory and praxis, focusing on processes for producing critical and socially relevant and interventionist knowledge. Women’s Studies is about integrating women’s experiences, realities and perspectives in mainstream/ codified knowledge from where they have been left out or made invisible. It is about making women’s perspectives visible and central to understanding society, social structures and operations. It is about reclaiming women’s contributions to the development of cultures, nations and civilizations. It is also about changing structures of oppression, exploitation and neglect that have not only stifled women as individuals, but have also contributed to developing a lopsided/ male centric form of knowledge across disciplines. Women’s Studies is thus about creating a multi-disciplinary new knowledge wherein feminism has an integral, ideological and foundational relevance.
The main objectives of the program are:
- It will provide the students with the historical context of the global feminist movement and theorization on women that is expected to be directly relevant to challenging women’s contemporary position in society and motivate and direct initiatives for changes and improvements in their lives.
- It will seek to represent the intellectual breadth and theoretical diversity of feminist knowledge that has emerged from activist and scholarly engagement with issues raised by the women’s movement.
- It will enable students to begin a self reflexive process and understand women's position in society in relation to self.
- It will enable students to question mainstream institutionalized knowledge that has rationalized women’s neglect, absence, subordination and oppression.
- It will equip students to engender research and to integrate feminist research practices, enabling students to document and publish women centered research that can contribute to theory building, advocacy, activism and policy on women’s issues.
- It will develop students’ perspectives and skills to conceptualize women’s gender interests and to use gender analytical frameworks to critically work with social policy and programs.
The students of this M.A. in Women’s Studies program have an opportunity to experience a wide range of courses linking feminist theories, women’s movements, women’s development, and critiques of mainstream development that excludes women, at the same time preparing students to do feminist research and documentation and learn organizational skills needed to work with women and institutions. The course accommodates students with diverse backgrounds and perspectives and lends flexibility to the process of teaching and learning which gives a more holistic understanding and analysis of economic, socio-political processes. It also enables students to use their learning to pursue both research and field work through their expertise and experience in intervention-related knowledge and skills.
Students doing this Master's Degree Programme may find their professional careers in diverse settings such as in academia as researchers and teachers, in journalism, as development workers and activists, in civil and administrative functions of the government, especially women and gender departments, in national and international organizations working on women and gender issues. This course offers our students great potential to traverse territories, both unknown and known and bring in feminist perspectives in their area of work to bring about a gender sensitive and gender just world.