womens empowerment india

Academics in Action: The Challenges and Possibilities of Women’s Empowerment

womens empowerment india

During a recent trip to Hyderabad, India, I was invited to speak at St. Joseph’s College about my research on gender-based violence, anti-violence activism, and women’s empowerment. The discussion, hosted by the college’s Women’s Empowerment Cell, was facilitated by the college Principal, Rev. Fr. Vincent Arokiadas (PhD), and attended by both students and faculty. I shared stories from my research with women’s collectives in Hyderabad, highlighting the innovative community-embedded strategies that these organizations employ to support women who experience violence, and to educate and mobilize women and men to interrupt and prevent gender-based violence in their families and communities. The brilliant students in attendance shared experiences from their own lives and posed many insightful questions. They asked about the mundane forms of control that limit women’s potential and can make them vulnerable to domestic abuse; about how awareness-raising campaigns can reach and involve men in anti-violence efforts; about the role of parenting and educating parents about the rights of women and girls; and about the role of media and public space in societal responses to gender-based violence and gender inequality. I came away from this lively discussion with renewed passion for my own engagements in this work, and very much looking forward to future collaborations with the students, faculty, and staff at St. Joseph’s College.