Two luminaries who contributed to women’s movement and women’s studies in India — Vina Mazmudar and Sharmila Rege — were remembered by faculty, students, and members of Gender Clubs from affiliated colleges at an event to discuss their legacy of ideas, following their demise earlier this year.

Vina Mazumdar believed that women could balance traditional roles and be activists, said N. Manimekalai, professor, Department of women’s studies, Bharathidasan University, speaking at the event organised by the department. Ms. Mazmudar had held that those who had never thought of themselves as discriminated against could not accept feminism. Ms. Mazmudar would be remembered for her historically significant contribution as secretary of the committee on the “Status of Women Towards Equality” in 1974, which laid the groundwork for policies by presenting the real status and issues of women in the country. Turning the spotlight on Indian sociologist and writer Sharmila Rege, in the second half of the session, lecturer Suba said Rege, who headed the Savithiri Bai Phule Women’s Studies Centre, Pune University, opened the space for caste, class, and religion in the feminist debate.

The author of Writing Caste, Writing Gender: Reading Dalit Women’s Testimonies , which deals with narratives of 12 Dalit women leaders, was closely involved with the empowerment of Dalits.

Her last publication Against the Madness of Manu , explains how caste system had engendered violence against women.

Rege upheld that classroom teaching was never enough to introduce students to discrimination and social injustice.

  • Vina Mazumdar was the chronicler of women’s movement in India

  • Sharmila Rege was closely involved with Dalit empowerment