The Centre for Women’s Studies, Dibrugarh University, is one of the UGC approved Women’s Studies Centres in the country and second such Centre in the North East region of India. It was established as a Centre (Project) in 1998 with a UGC grant under the IX Plan and received the approval of UGC in November 2004. Since its inception, the Centre has been diligently working in varied aspects of women’s studies and women and gender issues- violence against women, oral history, gender sensitization, advocating women’s issues, archiving and documenting varied experiences of women. The Centre has been engaged in research, training, documentation and dissemination and extension work on issues relating to women and women’s empowerment both among the academic community and also in the wider society. The centre offered the course- Post Graduate Certificate Course in Women’s Studies for the period from 2005 to 2015, a first course of this kind in the region. It was upgraded to the Post Graduate Diploma Course in Women’s Studies during the academic sessions 2016-17 to 2018-19. The Centre started M.A. Programme in Women’s Studies in CBCS mode from the academic session 2019-20.
The Centre has also facilitated the setting up of 43 Women’s Studies Cells in various colleges affiliated to Dibrugarh University. The Centre envisages its role as a catalyst of social change with its focus on academics, teaching, training and advocacy, dissemination of knowledge and thereby bringing about awareness on persisting feminist concerns such as sexism, racism and classism. In addition to its academic programme and research projects, the Centre provides services to the broader community both on and off the campus by organising lectures, conferences and gender sensitisation programmes.
The Centre has collaborated with Ministry of Women and Child Development, Govt. of India, National Commission for Women, State Commission for Women, Indian Association for Women’s Studies, UNICEF, and various NGOs for various endeavors of the Centre. The Centre completed a major and minor research project during the period of 2015-2020. The major research project was sponsored by the Ministry of Women and Child Development entitled ‘Stories Behind a Hot Cup of Assam Tea: Listening to the Voices of Women Labourers in the Tea Garden’ which was completed in the year 2017 and the minor research project was sponsored by the Centre for Research and Documentation (A Premiere CSR undertaking of AMA ABA MPCS, Ltd, Zero, Arunachal Pradesh) entitled ‘Re-interpreting Cultural Identity: A study of Tattoos among the Women Tea Garden Workers of Assam’ in the year 2019.
VISION OF THE CENTRE
- To propagate the cause of gender friendly environment and gender-inclusive society through a proper understanding of the issues influencing the status of women especially those of North East India
- To promote gender equality through teaching, research, seminars, workshops, and community outreach activities
- To document the voices of women at the periphery of the society: elderly women, victims of sexual harassment, physically challenged women, women victims of war, natural calamities etc.
- To develop and disseminate knowledge about women’s role in the society, so as to more effectively address the issues concerning women of the North East India
- To contribute to the effective policy making and its implementation in favour of economic, social empowerment of women.
- Extension and Outreach Activities
- Analysis of academic and policy debates on women.
- Tracing the oral history of women in Assam and North East India.
- Undertaking research in working conditions and experience of women involved in the industries located in the vicinity of the university like the Tea Industry, OIL, ONGC, BCPL.
- Documenting the unheard voices of elderly women, women in prison, trafficked women and women and conflict.
- The innovative pedagogical approach of the faculty members is the merging of the theory and praxis by applying field and theory based class room teaching.
- The students are engaged with active field based research to understand the basic concepts of women’s studies to learn and unlearn gendered social realities.
- The Centre regularly holds screening and reviewing of movies, documentaries, and short films and subsequently holds debates and discussions on the same incorporating gender perspectives.
- The Centre attempts to document unheard voices of women in N.E India into feminist epistemology and discuss these narratives in classrooms as well.
- The Centre tries to facilitate economic empowerment of women in nearby areas by giving them a platform to sell their products at various events and programmes organised by the Centre.