About Tarabai Shinde Women's Study Centre
Women's Studies is an academic discipline that developed out of the need for the feminist movement to understand the facts, causes and consequences of women's secondary status in society. Since the 1980's the discipline has grown in depth and coverage, and feminist thinkers have engaged in theoretical debate with scholars in the different social sciences and humanities.
Why the name of Tarabai Shinde?
Tarabai Shinde wrote an essay called "Stree-PurushTulna" which was published in 1882. This is perhaps the earliest example of a feminist text in Marathi. She sharply critiques the male-centered values of society, and the hypocritical attitudes held towards women in marriage, religious practices and social views on morality. Her text was neglected, maybe because her views were too uncomfortable, until it was published in a new edition by S.G. Malshe. Since then the text has been widely discussed and was translated into English by Rosalind O'Hanlon.
We chose the name of Tarabai Shinde for our Centre to honour her work, to acknowledge its place in feminist writing in Maharashtra, and to pledge to bring to light other women who have much to contribute to our understanding of society, but who may not receive adequate attention.
Importance of this subject in Marathwada
The Marathwada region in particular is characterized as socially and economically backward, but it is especially so in the area of gender. We observe a high percentage of child marriage in the case of girls, low female literacy, relatively high birth rates and a prevalence of patriarchal attitudes towards women. It may be argued that all these have to be changed before the region can achieve better results in economics development and human development. For these reasons, a Women's Studies Centre can play an important role in the area of training, teaching and research which will be crucial for the development of the region.
The Centre is widely sought after for conducting training programs on gender issues. It has been involved in gender-sensitization workshops for diverse clientele. It is also recognized as a Centre for conducting Refresher Courses for Academic staff under the UGC scheme for faculty development. It has conducted sponsored programs for capacity building of staff working in the NGO sector on gender as well as women administrators. All training programs of the Centre involve participatory and inclusive methodologies. It regularly conducts programs on feminist research methodologies and doing gendered research.