Before applying for the masters’s programme in women’s studies at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, I had completed my master’s degree in English literature from the University of Calcutta and had been working with an NGO engaged in the areas of education and health for women and children. The decision for a more academic engagement in the subject mainly evolved from a theoretical introduction to questions of gender within English literary works.
The interdisciplinary nature of the programme not only strengthens the discipline of women’s studies but also enables a critical view of the lack of detail on the subject in the theoretical framework of various other disciplines. Women’s studies has enhanced my critical thinking by outlining the lacunae in existing knowledge discourses. The research methodology courses in the discipline have equipped me with research skills that, unlike traditional research in social sciences, enable me to not confuse the voices of women and other people at the social, economic and political peripheries of society. While my personal interest is to join academia and research on the completion of PhD from TISS, Hyderabad, students pursuing women’s studies may find careers in settings other than academia as well, such as development work and activism, journalism, civil and administrative functionaries and in national and international organisations working on women and gender issues.