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In: The women and international development annual. Volume 4, edited by Rita S. Gallin, Anne Ferguson, and Janice Harper. Boulder, Colorado, Westview Press, 1995. 51-75.The growth of women's studies since 1970 has not been limited to the United States. Similar developments, some as dramatic, have been underway in other countries where there were networks of women scholars and activists. The United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have made significant advances since the 1970s in women's studies research and in the number and range of courses available. Elsewhere courses appeared on the European continent, particularly in West Germany, the Netherlands, and the Scandinavian countries, where strong government support was available. In most developing countries, however, women's studies as such was little known prior to 1980. The notable exception was India. Here the origins of women's studies are attributable to the investigations of the Committee on the Status of Women in India, which were carried out from 1971 to 1974. The Committee's Report highlighted a lack of knowledge about the diversity of women's lives and pointed to the need for further research and reappraisal of the traditional assumptions of the social sciences. With that background, the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) established a Programme of Women's Studies in 1976 "to develop new perspectives in the social sciences--through examining basic assumptions, methodological approaches and concepts concerning the family, household, women's work, productivity, economic activity--to remedy the neglect and underassessment of women's contributions to the society. (excerpt)
In: Missing links: gender equity in science and technology for development, [compiled by] United Nations. Commission on Science and Technology for Development. Gender Working Group. Ottawa, Canada, International Development Research Centre [IDRC], 1995. 55-81.This document is the third chapter in a book complied by the UN Gender Working Group (GWG) that explores the overlay of science and technology (S&T), sustainable human development, and gender issues. This chapter addresses the nature of indigenous knowledge systems, their potential role in sustainable and equitable development, and possible strategies for promoting mutually beneficial exchanges between local and S&T knowledge systems. The introduction notes 1) that local knowledge science systems differ from modern S&T because they are managed by users of knowledge and are holistic, 2) gender roles lead to differentiation in the kind of local knowledge and skills acquired by women and by men, and 3) sustainable and equitable development depends upon full recognition and reinforcement of local knowledge systems. The chapter continues with an analysis of 1) gender, biodiversity, and new agrotechnologies; 2) gender and intellectual property rights, especially in regard to biotechnological developments based on local knowledge; and 3) the work of governments, universities, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and local groups in the areas of S&T programs with women, general women's programs, and programs focused on indigenous knowledge (with an emphasis on research in gender and indigenous knowledge systems, women promoting diversity, the comparative advantage of indigenous knowledge, and the role of NGOs and information networks). Next, the chapter considers the work of the UN and its agencies through a review of documents containing S&T agreements; support for women's rights; and work in the areas of indigenous people, biodiversity, and intellectual property rights. The chapter ends by identifying areas of critical concern and research needs.