Tag Archives: Harvard Task Force

Dear Sisters (and brothers?) at Harvard

Letter from  Indian feminists VRINDA GROVER, MARY E JOHN, KAVITA PANJABI, SHILPA PHADKE, SHWETA VACHANI, URVASHI BUTALIA and others, to their siblings at Harvard

We’re a group of Indian feminists and we are delighted to learn that the Harvard community – without doubt one of the most learned in the world – has seen fit to set up a Policy Task Force entitled ‘Beyond Gender Equality’ and that you are preparing to offer recommendations to India (and other South Asian countries) in the wake of the New Delhi gang rape and murder. Not since the days of Katherine Mayo have American women – and American feminists – felt such a concern for their less privileged Third World sisters. Mayo’s concern, at that time, was to ensure that the Indian State (then the colonial State) did not leave Indian women in the lurch, at the mercy of their men, and that it retained power and the rule of the just. Yours, we see, is to work towards ensuring that steps are put in place that can help the Indian State in its implementation of the recommendations of the Justice Verma Committee, a responsibility the Indian State must take up. This is clearly something that we, Indian feminists and activists who have been involved in the women’s movement here for several decades, are incapable of doing, and it was with a sense of overwhelming relief that we read of your intention to step into this breach. Continue reading Dear Sisters (and brothers?) at Harvard

What is wrong with this picture? Carole Vance

Guest post by CAROLE VANCE

Two faculty members at Harvard, associated with gender studies, convene a Policy Task Force, designed to “to offer recommendations to India and other South Asian countries in the wake of the New Delhi gang rape and murder” and in this semester “to produce a working paper that advises on the implementation of the recommendations from the Verma Committee”.   This is not a student initiative, though a meeting with students is scheduled to invite their input, along with that of the larger Harvard community. Continue reading What is wrong with this picture? Carole Vance

Unintended consequences of feminist action: Prabha Kotiswaran

Guest post by PRABHA KOTISWARAN

Taking off from the debate here on the Harvard Task Force, I’d like to flag some  disagreements among feminists on law reforms. There are many strains to this debate – I will only engage with a few.

No feminist, whether of Indian origin or not, whether primarily located in India or not, is insecure about feminists/lawyers around the world working on rape in India. Circuits of feminist scholarship and activism become so inter-disciplinary and transnational that maintaining and policing turf (if at all that were possible) is an utterly useless endeavour. Continue reading Unintended consequences of feminist action: Prabha Kotiswaran