THE 6TH WORLD CONFERENCE ON WOMEN’S STUDIES (WCWS 2020)
The Asian African Association for Women, Gender and Sexuality (AAAWGS) and The International Institute of Knowledge Management (TIIKM), together organized the 6th World Conference on Women’s Studies (WCWS 2020) on a virtual platform under the theme of “Overcoming Women’s Subordination: Socialization, Law, and Structural Inequalities” on 27th – 28th July 2020. The WCWS 2020 was co-hosted by Bridgewater State University in the USA, Tokyo Gakugei University in Japan, and The Center for Multidisciplinary Research, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepure in Sri Lanka. The academic partners included the Nepal Center for Contemporary Research (NCCR) in Kathmandu, Nepal, Universiti Brunei Darussalam in Brunei, The Research Centre of Communication for Development Knowledge Management in Thailand, and the NOIDA International University in India. The Women’s International Foundation (WFO) in Sri Lanka and Room to Read were the strategic partners of the conference. The media coverage was provided by Lanka Woman in Sri Lanka, the Daily Mirror, Sirikatha, Sunday, the Daily-Lankadeepa and the Daily FT, all print-media newspapers from Sri Lanka as. Globa India Business Forum (GIBF) in India also helped to promote the conference as the media partner. BlueArc was the event partner and Globeenjoy was the tour and accommodation partner.
The Conference Chair of the WCWS was Dr. Diana J. Fox, Chairperson, Department of Anthropology, Journal of International Women’s Studies, Bridgewater State University in the USA. The keynote speakers were Dr. Bishnu Maya Pariyar, a Social Activist with Dalit women and other marginalized groups in Nepal, and Jayanthi Kuru Utumpala, the first Sri Lankan to reach the summit of Mount Everest and a Gender Specialist & Feminist Activist in Sri Lanka. Dr. Nausheen Pasha-Zaidi, Professor of Psychology at Houston Community College and Adjunct Lecturer of Psychology at the University of Houston Downtown, USA presented the Special Workshop on “Implicit Islamophobia and Unconscious Bias: Breaking Chains, Building Bridges.” Yamuna Ghale, a specialist in Natural Resource Management, Food Security / Agriculture, and Gender Expert from Nepal shared her talk on “The Representation of Women in State Structures: Success Stories from Nepal.”
The WCWS 2020 presented a “Women’s Forum 2020” under the theme of “When Women Advance, So Does Society: Returns on Investments for Sri Lanka”. Dr. Sulochana Segera, Founder/Chairperson, Women in Management in Sri Lanka was the moderator of the event. There were three key Sri Lankan executives who served as panelists at the event: Ms. Roshanie Jayasunedera, Executive Vice President of John Keells Holdings PLC, Chief Marketing Officer of the Property Group in Sri Lanka, Ms. Shehara Jayawardena, Group Joint Managing Director, the McLarens Group in Sri Lanka and Mr. Preethi Jayawardena, Deputy Chairman of the Commercial Bank in Sri Lanka. This panel discussion explored “How Women’s Empowerment Constitutes a Return on Investment—both in the present and in the long term for Sri Lankan society?”
The conference closed with a Publication Workshop led by the Conference Chair, titled “From Conference Paper to Scholarly Feminist Publication” offering participants insights into publication processes.
There were more than 60 researchers from 20 countries who presented in the 18 technical sessions in the two-day conference. The 6th WCWS 2020 offered an inspiring and knowledge creating opportunity in the effort to create gender equal societies, worldwide.