Bharathidasan University faculty seek better promotion for MA Gender Studies
The MA in Gender Studies offered by the university’s Department of Women's Studies largely focuses on the complexities in genders.
TIRUCHY: Pointing out that the highest-ever enrolment for the master’s programme in gender studies has been 13 since the course’s introduction in 2008, faculty members at Bharathidasan University call for measures like the government giving preference to it while filling vacancies in allied departments, and better promotion by the varsity administration.
The MA in Gender Studies offered by the university’s Department of Women's Studies largely focuses on the complexities in genders. "Courses like gender studies are one of the important branches of studies delving into policies, interventions and programmes on women and other genders in a broader perspective," a professor who did not wish to be named said.
According to sources, students trained in the course can secure opportunities in organisations like UNICEF, UNDP, UNIFEM and WHO, and even with government departments focusing on women and child development, etc. The course, however, has currently found only four takers, the professor said, adding that the highest-ever enrolment was witnessed in 2013. While there little clarity offered on the sanctioned intake for the course, sources said the university planned to even split the batch were the course’s enrolments to exceed 20.
"A major reason (for the poor enrolment) could be new courses cropping up every year with immediate job opportunities, which makes the students of this generation prefer earning quickly to building expertise in a field, thereby undermining the value of important courses," the professor added. Another professor remarked how gender studies is being offered as a UG programme in institutions like Alagappa University, Madurai Kamaraj University and Mother Teresa Women's University in recognition of its importance.
When enquired, Dr N Murugeswari, head of the Department of Women's Studies at Bharathidasan University, said, "Steps from the government to add gender studies as a preference while calling for applications for vacancies in social welfare department, child welfare department, etc could inspire students to opt for the course." Mentioning several law and social science graduates having gone on to take up the course upon realising its importance, she pitched for the need for extensive promotion on the course by the government and the university administration.