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Feminism: Theory And Praxis – IMPRI Impact And Policy Research Institute

Feminism: Theory and Praxis

Session Report – Dr Saumya Uma

Written by Prasangana Paul

Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi conducted an Online International Winter School Program, a Three-Day Immersive Online Certificate Training Course in January 2024.

This Course, spread over three days, delved deep into the multifaceted realm of feminism. Throughout the program, participants had invaluable opportunities to explore the rich tapestry of feminist thought, spanning from its historical origins to contemporary manifestations.

On the 2nd Day, our speaker was Professor Dr Saumya Uma, a professor at Jindal Global Law School and Director of, the Centre for Women’s Rights(JGLS).

Overview of the presentation: Feminism and Legal Activism

Professor Uma provided a comprehensive overview of the multifaceted landscape of feminism, delving into the intricate intersections between feminist ideologies and the legal system. The professor commenced the session by shedding light on the fundamental question, “Who is a feminist?” and emphasised the necessity of understanding feminism in the plural form. This nuanced perspective recognised the diverse backgrounds and experiences that shape individual feminist viewpoints.

One of the primary focal points of Professor Uma’s discourse was the exploration of linkages between feminism and the law. She underscored the historical role of the legal system in perpetuating the subordination of women, asserting that feminist theories about law pivot around scrutinizing and challenging the deeply ingrained patriarchy. Professor Uma eloquently articulated the need to reevaluate and transform the intricate relationship between law and society through the specific lens of women’s experiences.

During her lecture, Professor Uma delved into various legal components designed to facilitate women’s access to justice. This encompassed an examination of legal frameworks aimed at dismantling barriers that historically impeded women from seeking justice. By elucidating these mechanisms, Professor Uma provided a nuanced understanding of the ongoing efforts to create a more equitable legal landscape for women.

Moreover, Professor Uma explored the diverse forms of women’s subordination, offering poignant examples that underscored the urgency of feminist legal activism. This exploration included an in-depth analysis of legal strategies employed to challenge and dismantle systems that perpetuate gender-based discrimination. The professor’s elucidation of these examples served to underscore the dynamic nature of the ongoing struggle for gender equality within legal frameworks.

The session reached its zenith as Professor Uma concluded her discourse, opening the floor to questions and answers. This interactive segment allowed participants to engage with the material on a deeper level, seeking clarification and delving into specific aspects of the intricate relationship between feminism and the law. Professor Uma’s adept handling of queries further enriched the learning experience, fostering a dynamic and participatory atmosphere.

In essence, Professor Uma’s lecture provided a rich tapestry of insights into the complex and evolving terrain of feminist theories vis-à-vis the legal system. By navigating through the historical context, legal components, and contemporary examples of women’s subordination, the session not only deepened the understanding of feminism but also underscored the imperative for ongoing activism within the legal sphere to pave the way for a more just and equitable society.

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