FEMINIST JURISPRUDENCE


MEETING FOR DETERMINING THE CURRICULAR CONTENT OF FEMINIST JURISPRUDENCE FOR L.L.M COURSE

A group comprising nine persons, namely, Prof. Nilima Chandiramani, Prof. B.P. Srivastava, Dr. Aparna Srivastava, Dr. R.C. Borpatragohian, Ms. Abha Kulshresta, Dr. J.K. Ashnakumari, Dr. Jaya Sagade, Ms. Bapu Deedwaria and Prof. Susheela Kaushik discussed the course curriculum for the LLM course based on the curriculum devised by the CDC of the UGC. The curriculum devised by the UGC proposes six papers, each of which was discussed by the group.

The group of the papers proposed by the UGC curriculum is titled 'FEMINIST CRITIQUE OF LEGAL ORDER'. Ms. Abha Kulshresta expressed the view that the word 'CRITIQUE' is inappropriate. Prof. R.C. Borpatragohain agreed with this view and an alternative title 'FEMINIST LEGAL ORDER' was suggested for the group of papers which was accepted.

It was pointed out during the discussions that law students who have completed the three year course would not be familiar with sociology or any of the other social sciences. Therefore, the curriculum should be developed taking the aspect into account and students should be acquainted with the basic concepts.

The curriculum, after incorporating the changes suggested by the group in the curriculum devised by the UGC, is as under :

  • The title of the paper was changed to THEORIES OF FEMINISM as the original title was found to be inappropriate.
  • It was agreed that the object of the paper should be for the student to familiarize himself/herself with the concept and different theories of feminism.
  • It was found appropriate to include a topic on 'CONCEPT OF FEMINISM' in the introductory chapter in order to acquaint students with the concept.
  • The group agreed to retain topics on liberal, Marxist, Radical and Socialist feminism.
  • The majority of the members of the group felt that the bibliography should include a balanced list of books by both Indian and foreign authors.
It was suggested that an expert sociologist should be consulted to prepare a course for the first paper.

The following changes were proposed to be made in the second paper -

  • After a long discussion on the title of the paper, the group decided to change the title to GENDER EQUALITY DURING NATIONAL STRUGGLE.
  • The chapter on 'Position of Women in Early Societies' was considered to be an adequate introduction to the paper and a sub-topic on the position of women in Medieval India was added.
  • The chapters on Women's Participation in the Nationalist Movement Before Gandhiji and Gnadhiji and Involvement of Women in the Non-violent women were merged into a single chapter entitled - involvement of women in the Non-violent Movement and one of the sub-topic (originally 8.3) was omitted.
  • In the chapter on Constitutional Guarantee of Equality, the group decided to omit the first three topics and retain the topic on special provision for women put in the Preamble, Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles so that special steps could be taken to improve the position of women and bring them at par with men.

In the third paper entitled PATRIARCHAL ELEMENTS IN INDIAN LAW, the following changes were proposed -

  • It was decided to omit the fourth sub-topic in the introductory chapter i.e. 'Changing nature of feminist struggle challenges - the very notion of femininity and masculinity as mutually exclusive biologically determined categories'.
  • It was found relevant to include the Domestic Violence Bill as a topic of study under the head ''he patriarchal character of public or private dichotomy''.
  • In the chapter entitled Patriarchal character of criminal law, members of the group proposed the inclusion of certain statutes, namely, Child Marriage Restraint Act, Pre Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, Domestic Violence Bill, Sexual Harassment of Women at Place of Work (Prevention) Bill, Atrocities against Dalit Women.
  • In the chapter on Constitution, Constitution making and patriarchy, topics of 'Constitution contains no special rubric 'women' and 'women specific Articles in the whole Constitution were omitted as they were found to be repetitive.
  • In the chapter on legislative process and patriarchy, the Domestic Violence Bill was included and in the chapter on Judiciary and Patriarchy, it was found that including a topic on case law would be relevant.
  • In the chapter on Patriarchal character of legal administration, the world 'women dacoits' was replaced with women criminals' and the topic on patriarchal character of judicial administration was deleted.
PAPER IV: GENDER JUSTIC STANDARDS AT INTERNATIONAL LAW
Changes proposed -
  • The word 'hour' was omitted from the title of Topic four 'Internal Labour Organization and Rights of Women.'
  • In Chapter 5, the word 'political' was omitted from the title and an additional sub-topic 'other conventions relating to women' was added.
  • A new chapter, Chapter 7 was added, pertaining to Economic Exploitation of Women (see Annexure for sub-topics)
PAPER V: LABOUT, GENDER AND THE LAW
Changes proposed -
  • A new chapter, Chapter 3 was introduced regarding labour laws (see Annexure) as it was felt that insufficient coverage was given to this topic.
  • In topic 2.3 of Chapter 2, the special reference to Beedi and Cigar Workers Act was done away with as it felt that this would limit the scope of the study of home based production.
  • A sub-topic on other case studies was added to the chapter on case studies in order to encourage a thorough case study.
  • The Shram Shakti Report was included in the Bibliography.
PAPER VI: POPULATION PLANNING AND GENDER JUSTICE
Changes proposed -
  • The sub-topic 2.46 on the Uniform Civil Code and population planning was omitted.
  • In Chapter three, the word 'unfit' in sub-topic 3.7 was replaced by 'Mentally and Physically Challenged'.
CONCLUSION

Prof. Nilima Chandiramani took the responsibility of devising a Bibliography for the prescribed curriculum.

Dr. Jaya Sagade suggested that the Pune University could be consulted for sociologist for framing the curriculum for the first paper.

The following suggestions were made during the presentation of Reports -

  • Post colonial feminist theory should be discussed at greater length.
  • "Women in Armed Conflict' should be included in the paper on Gender Justice Standards at international law.
  • Third world feminism should be included.
  • The Juvenile Justice Act should be included as a tope in the patriarchal nature of criminal.
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