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Promoting gender equality in writing and research


Women writers - both past and present - have played a vital role in raising awareness of gender inequality, while women researchers have been at the forefront of new thinking in this area, inspiring social and cultural change.

In Pakistan, women early career researchers (ECRs) have made real strides in amplifying the voices of South Asian women writers, yet continue to face socioeconomic barriers to developing their own research.

At Teesside University, Dr Madeline Clements and Dr Rachel Carroll - supported by the UK's Global Challenges Research Fund - set out to promote original new research on South Asian women's writing and advance the careers of next generation women scholars throughout the country.

The Research

In March 2021, working with the International Islamic University, Clements and Carroll curated a three-day workshop for 25 women ECRs from across Pakistan. It combined specialist talks, practical workshops, one-to-one mentoring and networking, with guest speakers including the highly acclaimed Pakistani writer and editor Muneeza Shamsie.

The content of the workshop was developed following a nationwide survey of researchers in Pakistan the previous year, ensuring it was targeted to the needs of women ECRs in the region.

Though planned as a physical event in Pakistan, the workshop was adapted for a virtual setting due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19. However, part of the project funding was used to create a smart classroom at the International Islamic University which will be able to facilitate future events and support the ongoing work of ECRs in Pakistan.

The Impact

The feedback from workshop delegates was overwhelmingly positive, citing the ‘sincerity and sensitivity' with which feedback on their work was delivered, as well as the opportunity to learn 'the latest techniques and aspects of research in-depth'.

Though the Women Writing Pakistan workshop has been at the centre of this project to date, the real impact is yet to be felt. In creating a community of ECRs, academics and writers, the project has provided a platform to enable the delegates to set the agenda for future research in South Asian women's writing.

Centre for Culture and Creativity

Connecting researchers and practitioners from across the arts and humanities, the Centre for Culture and Creativity seeks to enrich cultural understanding, increase cultural engagement, enhance public debate, further creative and applied practice, and drive positive social change.

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