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Old Saturday, June 29, 2019
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Originally Posted by Saba Arif View Post
Please share material of Status of women Studies in Pakistan.
The University of Karachi established a “Centre of Excellence for Women's Studies (CEWS)” in 1989. The first M.A in Women’s Studies in Pakistan began in 1996 at the University of Karachi and the Mphil/PhD program began in 2002. Recently, FPSC included gender studies as a subject in its optional subjects for civil services exams (2016) and this was indeed a positive step as the subject will now get more attention.

Other than that, Gender studies in general and Women studies in particular are largely ignored as academic fields in Pakistan. The subject needs to be introduced in universities and must be funded and encouraged by the government.

But there is one big problem; Gender/women studies is a western subject and has its roots in the West meaning that most of the theories in gender studies originate from there and involves topics and movements which are mostly particular to them. So there is a need for research to be done to make those theories more relevant in the context of our society.

I think one of the reasons for the hesitancy in adapting this subject in Pakistan is the cultural differences. We have seen what modern feminist have become in the West and even there they are ridiculed for their "anti-men and anti-establishment" stance. That is a controversial topic in itself but what we need to realize is that we'll need to carve our own way forward in this field. What worked for western women can't work here because neither the circumstances are the same and nor is the cultural context. So we can't simply follow what the West did back in the 19th and early 20th century to get even the most basic legal and social equality. We have to adapt and for that the subject needs to gain more legitimacy and acceptance.

It's a catch-22 to be honest; GS will be accepted more when the subject is more culturally relevant and it won't be culturally relevant until the subject is offered in universities more.

On the whole Gender studies requires much more attention then what is currently given to it as a subject in Pakistan
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MN Ansari (Thursday, July 04, 2019), Saba Arif (Sunday, June 30, 2019)