WGS 393 • Women In South Asian Societies
3:00 PM-6:00 PM
This course will deal with the history, social and political roles, and contemporary problems of women in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. The approach will be interdisciplinary, and wherever possible, the readings will incorporate the ideas and words of the women themselves about their lives. Topics to be covered in the readings and discussions will include traditional images and roles of women, religious beliefs, marriage customs, childrearing practices and work patterns. We will also study the changes that have occurred in womens lives as a result of historical forces in the 19th and 20th centuries: a variety of religious and social reform movements, and the role of women in movements for independence from colonial rule. We will then attempt to assess the status and roles of women in contemporary South Asian societies, with special emphasis on womens struggles for economic and legal rights.