BANGALORE: On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Dr Bela Zutshi, director, Centre for Women Studies at Bangalore University, hopes the Women Studies would soon be recognised by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for inclusion in the civil services examination.
This, she feels, would elevate women studies much higher in terms of applied studies. “We have to take it to a stage where people from various backgrounds can apply what they have researched or studied here in their work. We are trying for recognition so that it is included in the competitive exams,” said Dr Bela.
The irony in her department, she says, is that more than half of the students are boys. “This certainly is an interesting trend that more and more boys are interested in women studies. However, this does not mean that women are not coming forward for research,” she says.
“There has been an increase in the number of women guides. One can become a guide only after a successful stint at research. We will soon have new lady researchers joining the department. It is important to note that there is no gender bias in women studies,” says Dr Bela.
Established in 2001, the Centre for Women Studies has enrolment from students with various backgrounds with the director herself belonging to the Zoology branch.
“This variance in background shows the relevance of women studies. We have students from arts, science, commerce, sociology and a host of varying academic backgrounds,” she says.
“Even though people say that women are employed in all sectors, I know that in the pharmaceutical industry, very few women are hired. However, having studied microbiology, where most of the researchers are women, there is very little transition from research to jobs,” said Ramya Talanki, who works in Quality Control for a leading pharmaceutical laboratory.
Brinda Nagarajan, a Research Assistant at Indian Institute of Science (Bangalore), believes that participation of women in research is largely dependent on the field itself.
“The ratio of women to men depends on the field you are in. There are more women in chemical sciences, mathematics and even in life sciences which is my field. Engineering, however, is male-dominated,” she says.