THE INSITUTE OF WOMEN’S STUDIES, LAHORE

The Institute of Women’s Studies, Lahore (IWSL) emerged out of an imperative to create a space exclusively devoted to the cultivation and dissemination of a type of Women’s Studies that takes into account the specific realities of Asian women’s experiences and contributions.

The launching of the Institute of Women’s Studies, Lahore was on the 12th of February 1998. The ceremony took place on the new premises to inaugurate the building and to honour the efforts of those who contributed to the conceptual and practical construction of the Institute. The date of the launching of the Institute was made to coincide with Pakistani Women’s Day and was an occasion to honour the struggle of the people of Pakistan over the last fifty years.

IWSL seeks to address the needs of women activists; social movement activist; development workers; professionals; artist; writers; researchers; academics and those interested in keeping abreast with academic developments in Women’s Studies without having to enroll in formal academia. The IWSL has provided opportunities to take courses and to develop skills, such as systematic reading writing; critique; research and analytical training even as it situates these in an activist frame.

The IWSL sought to retain the original spirit of Women’s Studies in its insistence on the inseparability of theory and practice. The courses and other initiatives/events undertaken were premised on the notion that critical thinking developed through rigorous academic training and the struggle for justice based on action is integral to each other. At the same time, it sought to transcend national borders by bringing together faculty and students, participants and activists across South Asia, Asia and internationally into an integrated teaching/living environment and by linking the personal and the political.

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