of the event: Sunday, July 29, 2007
As 21st century unfolds, a new world order is shaping
the destiny of people around the world. Religious fundamentalism
and rampant consumerism are becoming the order of the day
as economic globalization dominates all aspects of life on
are not a homogeneous group. While some women have benefitted
because of these changes, most women who are marginalised
on the basis of factors such as class, caste, race, along
with gender are bearing the brunt of these changes and the
challenges they face are indeed formidable.
this panel discussion, the focus will be on women in India.
The three panelists drawing upon their research and personal
experience will discuss different aspects of the challenges
faced by various segments of the female population.
Profile of Dr. Vanaja Dhruvarajan
Vanaja Dhruvarajan is a senior scholar and professor of Sociology
at the University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Manitoba. She is currently
an adjunct professor at Carleton University in the Pauline Jewett
Institute for Women’s Studies and the Department of Sociology.
She completed her undergraduate education in India in 1959 and got
her Masters and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Chicago in
1964 and 1981 respectively. Her teaching and research interests
include Globalization, Family and Socialization, gender, Anti-Racism
and Knowledge Monopolies. She has done research in India and Canada
and has published several articles and books, which include Hindu
Women and the Power of Ideology, and Gender, Race and Nation: A
Global Perspective (co-authored).
Dhruvarajan has served as president of Canadian Sociology and Anthropology
Association in 1998-2000, as president of Canadian Women’s
Studies Assoiation in 1986-87, and as Ruth Wynn Woodward Endowed
Chair n Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 1994-95.
She has also served on the boards of several professional, university,
Government and community organizations. In 2002, in recognition
of her contributions to the University of Winnipeg, she was inducted
as a fellow of United College. She was one of the recipients of
YM/YWCA Woman of Distinction award in 1996.
personal statement from Dr. Dhruvarajan: Over the years,
I have promoted anti-racism and anti-sexism in my teaching, research,
writing and community activism. Here I provide a few examples of
such activities. I developed a course on “Women of Colour
in Canada,” which I have taught several times. More recently,
in 2004 I developed and taught a graduate level course “Knowledge
Monopolies, Anti-racism and sexism in Higher Education” at
the University of Toronto and taught it again in summer session
of 2005. I taught an updated version of the same course at Carleton
University in fall 2005 and 2006. I also developed a course titled
“Gender and Race in the 21st century” and I taught this
course for the department of Sociology at University of Ottawa.
I have also written papers on the impact of knowledge monopolies
in higher education and my contributions to feminist activism. I
have organized conferences and colloquia on the topics of gender
and race, and have given many talks to varied audiences. I am a
founding member of Association of Researchers and Academics of Colour
for Equality (R.A.C.E.) founded in 2005.
Profile of Ms. Amina Mire
Amina Mire has a pharmacy diploma (from The Somali Institute of
Health, 1980), A B.Sc. in Chemistry and B.A. in Philosophy (University
of Winnipeg, 1994); and M.A. in Philosophy (University of Toronto),
with strong emphasis in the philosophy of science and political
is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology and
Equity Studies in Education (OISE-UT) and the Women’s Studies
in the Institute for Women’s Studies and Gender Studies of
the University of Toronto.
many publications include: “Skin-Bleaching: Poison, Beauty,
Power, and the Politics of the Colour Line” in the Canadian
based feminist journal "Resources for Feminist Research"
(RFR/DRF/ Vol.28. No. 3/4/2001 winter/spring issue). Since its publication
the work has been included in prestigious databases, such as The
Wellcome Trust History of Medicine and CSA BiblioAlert. Amina has
published a critically researched paper “Pigmentation and
Empire” in a popular online site Counterpunch.org
. Since its publication, “Pigmentation and Empire” has
been picked by publications around the world.
doctoral dissertation “Soaping the Cells: Poison, and Skin-Whitening
Biotechnology” examines the social, political and economic
implications of the emerging practice of skin-whitening, and will
be defended very soon. Amina Mire is currently a professor of contemporary
Sociological Theory and Race and Ethnicity Studies at the Department
of Sociology and Anthropology of Carleton University.
Profile of Dr. Radhika Sekar
Radhika Sekar has a PhD in Religious Studies (Ottawa University),
her thesis topic being in the field of the Globalization of Religion.
She has a strong background in Anthropology and taught at the Department
of Religion, Carleton University for ten years.
a regular contributor to the Ottawa Citizen’s Ask the Religion
Experts column Radhika now writes children’s picture books
and has published two: Lord of Beginnings: Stories of the Elephant-headed
Deity—Ganesha (Vakils, Feffer & Simons 2004) and Deepavali
Stories from Around the World (ibid:2005). Her third book Hanuman
is due this summer. Also interested in creative writing Radhika
won the City of Ottawa 50+ Short Story Contest in 2003 and the CAA
Short Story Contest in 2005.
Radhika also conducts workshops and seminars for
youth on Hinduism, participates in multi-faith activities and is
invited to read her books and speak on the writing process at area
schools and libraries.