The Centre for Women’s Studies, School of Social Sciences, University of Hyderabad (UoH) organized a talk on “Reservations for Women in Representative Institutions: Caste, Gender and Feminist Politics” by Prof. Nivedita Menon on February 10, 2017, at New Seminar Hall, School of Social Sciences.
Eminent Professor Nandita Menon, noted feminist, author, translator, activist and Political Science Professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), encompassing arguments from both the sides that stand for and against the policy of reservation, Prof. Menon talked extensively about improving the fundamental system of reservation for women in the Indian legislatures. She shed light on the motifs of equality of opportunity and how women’s reservation simultaneously entrenches a caste divide in the representative institutions, terming it as a ‘Proxy representation’.
“Feminism must include not just women, but rather all sections of the society including the capitalistic upper caste who believes in the ideals of feminism. It is not a fight for equal opportunities as it is often seen to be. But rather it is a fight of social empowerment and social justice for women,” she opined. The talk was followed by an interactive session where Prof. Menon responded to questions put forth by the students and the faculty.
Often considered as one of the pioneers of feminist theory in India, Prof. Menon has written widely acclaimed books and papers in Indian and International publications. She writes on current issues in The Economic and Political Weekly, Kafila.org and is an active commentator on contemporary issues in newspapers. Menon has been involved in a wide range of political and social movements.
-By Priyanka and Jaagrithi Department of Communication