Sunday, December 10, 2017

Symposium on Women's Lives and Social Change: Day 11

On the 5th of December, in collaboration with the Women's Studies department of Madras University, we conducted a symposium on Women's Lives and Social Change. The Symposium consisted of four panels and a presentation of the work of the department's research scholars. 
The first panel, moderated by Dr. Swarna Rajagopalan, was titled "What Women Do, What Academics Study". First Dr. Manivannan from Madras University spoke about women farmers, the importance of integrating field work with research, and the intersectionality of disciplines like economics and politics. Dr. Azhagarasan then spoke about the importance of caste and gender. Dr. Priyamvadha spoke about oppressive cultural practises and gave us details on the different kinds of such practises across the world. 
The next panel was titled "The art of writing women's lives and work", and had Dr. Padma Mckertick speak about women's writing and fiction and the challenges one faces while reading books in terms of sexist work, and Dr. Swarnamalya Ganesh who spoke about Silapadikaram and feminist readings of Tamil texts. 
The next session was a presentation by the PhD scholars of the department, and included research oriented towards development, labour, genealogy, gastronomy, CSR and technology. 
The next panel was called "Women, violence and social change" and had journalist Kavitha Muralidharan speak about due diligence and the case of honour killings, politician and writer Salma speak about the challenges women face in politics and the workplace, and activist Fatima Burnad speak about working on field and being in the public eye. 
The last panel, "Women taking action: Activist Roundtable", had Renuka Bala from CWDR and Prasanna Gettu from PCVC sharing their experiences as founders of women-oriented organisations, the challenges they had to overcome and what their work involved. Each panel was followed by a question and answer session. 

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