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News Category: News


Does the Fight for Working Women’s Rights in India Leave Out Informal Workers?


Tata Trusts and Harvard University South Asia Institute (SAI) recently embarked on a collaborative journey in knowledge creation and capacity building for social and economic empowerment in India. The 18-month research project titled, Livelihood Creation in India through Social Entrepreneurship and Skill Development (beginning October 2015) was the first step in this direction. The project focused on three key areas including rural livelihood creation (emphasis on the handicrafts and handloom sectors); educational, social and economic empowerment of women; and science and technology-based interventions for poverty alleviation.

There is consensus that India’s future growth depends in part on addressing the severe current deficit in gender equality. Much work has been done to address this discrimination through legislation, social policy, grass roots organizing, educational targeting, and public sector training. Despite the imperative of higher education as a preparation for engagement in a skill based global economy, only 6% of rural girls make it to college. 46%of Indian girls are still married before they are 18, and 16% experience their first pregnancy before they are 15 years old. At the same time, sexual violence against women continues to be reported at high levels—every third Indian woman between the ages of 15 and 49 years has experienced sexual or physical violence during her lifetime. Women are severely underrepresented in leadership positions in industry, academia, and government.

One component of the Livelihood Creation ProjectBuilding Pathways with Women Project (Pathways)—aimed to make an impact on the highlighted issues through three sustained interventions at the educational, social and economic levels. The culminating step in this project focused on economic empowerment of women in India. India’s impressive growth, improved physical infrastructure, strong manufacturing capabilities, and an evolving higher education system, have positioned it as an emerging world leader. With the second-largest population in the world, India generates 14% of the global talent pool; however, India’s women are forced to navigate a familiar—and daunting—set of obstacles and challenges in their search for economic empowerment and professional success. Although the knowledge economy in India has created enormous opportunities, a large proportion of Indian women are still prevented from reaching their full potential in the workforce. The interventions in this area focused on the legal and social reforms for strengthening women’s economic self-sufficiency, legal and financial incentives for generating better opportunities for women, exploring organizational platforms for women’s economic empowerment in India, studying examples of institutions that have achieved considerable success in the economic empowerment of women, and suggesting ways in which they can be scaled up.

Learn more about the Livelihood Creation project.

 

In a recent feature on NDTV, The Startup Wednesday show explores how women with informal employment often don’t reap the benefits of progressive equality legislation. Eight out of ten working women in urban India are informally employed. The women who work in garment factories, construction sites, as rag-pickers, tailors, and domestic helpers have no social security, no formal places of work and no legal contracts to protect their rights. This feature presents the challenges of home-based working women and startups that are employing and empowering women in India. Watch as experts, entrepreneurs and the working women themselves talk about the issues they face.

Does the Fight for Working Women’s Rights in India Leave Out Informal Workers?
June 7, 2017, NDTV

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2017 SAI Symposium: Life Sciences Panel [VIDEO]


The fascinating life sciences panel at the 2017 Symposium featured:

Parvathi Sreekumar: a bioscientist based at the Department of Crop Physiology, University of Agricultural Sciences in Bangalore. She is a member of the inaugural cohort of SAI’s Boston Bangalore Biosciences Beginnings (B4) Program and is spending a year at Harvard as a postdoctoral fellow.

Muhammad H. Zaman: Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor of Biomedical Engineering and International Health at Boston University. He is using quantitative tools to understand tumor metastasis, developing robust technologies for high-value healthcare problems in the developing world, particularly in the area of maternal and child health and working on health and innovation policy issues in developing nations.

Conor WalshJohn L. Loeb Associate Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the John A. Paulson Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and a Core Faculty Member at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.

Venki Murthy: Professor of Molecular & Cellular Biology and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Neurobiology at Harvard University.

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American Council for Southern Asian Art Symposium XVIII


ACSAA Symposium web banner

October 12 – October 15, 2017

Harvard South Asia Institute is proud to co-sponsor the biennial American Council for Southern Asian Art Symposium. ACSAA symposia serve as opportunities to meet colleagues, reconnect with mentors and graduate school cohorts, and share one’s current research with the field. From senior scholars to graduate students, ACSAA symposia are one of the primary ways ACSAA members gather and support one another, share ideas with a group of like-minded colleagues, and participate in the ACSAA community. We are looking forward to welcoming you all in Boston/Cambridge, MA!

ACSAA 2017 Organizers

Jinah Kim, Gardner Cowles Associate Professor of History of Art & Architecture
Laura Weinstein, Ananda K. Coomaraswamy curator of South Asian and Islamic Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

About the ACSAA

The American Council for Southern Asian Art (ACSAA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the study and awareness of the art of South and Southeast Asia and the Himalayan regions. In addition to periodic symposia, usually held every two years, ACSAA pursues these goals through various projects, including its annual bulletin, bibliographies, a color slide project, a microfiche archive and outreach materials. Since its incorporation in 1967, ACSAA has grown from its original fifteen members to an organization of some three hundred individuals and institutions. ACSAA is formally affiliated with the College Art Association (CAA) and the Association of Asian Studies (AAS).

 

For more information about this conference, please visit our website: http://southasiainstitute.harvard.edu/acsaa2017/

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Applications open for Crossroads Summer Program


The SAI Crossroads Summer Program is a fully-funded career development opportunity for students from the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and Africa who are the first in their families to attend college and may also be facing challenging financial and social circumstances. The application deadline is July 1, 2017, and the program will run from August 11-14.

Apply here by July 1, 2017. The application process is open now and we encourage early entries.

 

Leading Harvard faculty will teach an intensive, multidisciplinary four-day curriculum in Dubai, for up to 60 accomplished, motivated young scholars.

Program details

  • Class size: up to 60 students drawn from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
  • Location: Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai
  • Cost: FREE (The program will cover the costs of international travel, board, lodging and class materials. Visa costs are the responsibility of selected candidates.)
  • Application deadline: July 1, 2017
  • Questions: Write to sainit@fas.harvard.edu (Subject line: SAI Crossroads Summer Program)

Faculty

  • Tarun Khanna is the Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at the Harvard Business School and Director of the South Asia Institute at Harvard University.
  • Karim R. Lakhani is Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, the Principal Investigator of the Crowd Innovation Lab and NASA Tournament Lab at the Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science and the faculty co-founder of the Harvard Business School Digital Initiative.
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Congratulations, Class of 2017!


Here at SAI, we are wishing the young minds of tomorrow the very best as they celebrate their triumphs, diligence, and vigor. Happy commencement!
Commencement_Hero Banner1
(PC: Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer)

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Registration Open for Workshop on the Liberal Arts in Higher Education


The Harvard South Asia Institute (SAI) Workshop on the Liberal Arts in Higher Education is a forum for higher-education faculty, administrators, and leadership from universities across South Asia, the Middle East, and neighboring regions (Central Asia and East Asia) to explore ways in which universities may develop a liberal arts education program for undergraduate students, while fostering such objectives as sustainable development; social inclusion and peace; and cooperation across national boundaries among individuals, institutions, and governments. These goals are essential to addressing shared global challenges and to realizing opportunities to advance human well-being. Universities, as institutions that prepare future leadership of societies, have a unique role to play in the achievement of these goals, educating students as global citizens who can understand, value, and contribute to the common good.

Beginning with a public lecture on the evening of August 18th, the inaugural event of the Harvard SAI Liberal Arts Education Workshop—in partnership with the Harvard Club of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), at the Ismaili Centre in Dubai—will be held on August 19-20, 2017, with the aim of launching a consortium of stakeholders committed to a robust and vibrant future of liberal arts education. Co-sponsored by the Harvard Business School Club of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the Harvard University Asia Center, and Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) in Pakistan, this workshop will allow Harvard SAI to initiate a multi-year engagement convening on an annual basis for collaboration, knowledge sharing and the exchange of ideas.

Harvard University faculty will be leading the discussion on a range of topics, enabling participants to customize their schedules in accordance with their university settings.

Registration for the workshop is now open. Learn more about the event here.

 

Register by Friday, July 7

Request an invitation here.

 

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2017 SAI Symposium: Arts Panel [VIDEO]


Our fantastic arts panel at the 2017 Symposium featured:

Shahzia Sikander: A Pakistani-born visual artist – trained in Pakistan and New England – who challenges the strict formal tropes of miniature painting as well as its medium-based restrictions by experimenting with scale and media. She received a MacArthur “Genius” Grant in 2006.

Shanay Javeri: Assistant Curator of South Asian Art at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. He is a graduate of Brown University, where he studied art semiotics and history of art. He completed his doctorate at the Royal College of Art in London, specializing in South Asian art.

Homi Bhabha: Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of English and American Literature and Language, and the Director of the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University.

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#SAISymposium


 

Migrations

 

The 2017 SAI Symposium was where we briought together scholars, practitioners and audiences to discuss, debate and dissect major South Asian themes from an interlocking variety of perspectives. This year, we explored migrations and transformations in society, from the points of view of visual arts, life sciences, and the study of displacement.

Our speakers included distinguished academics, artists and activists from Harvard and beyond. The event was free and open to the public and our guests in the audience were a vital component of the learning experience for all of us. It was an enlightening, essential get-together.

Full report coming soon…

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