Journal of South Asia Women Studies

Our First Issue

Editorial Note by Enrica Garzilli

I want to begin this first issue of the JSAWS by thanking everybody who subscribed to this journal. I should also like to thank Dr. Ludovico Magnocavallo, our Technical Editor: without him this publication would never have been possible.

The journal is copyrighted; contributors may, however, publish elsewhere subsequently. The purpose of the Journal is multifold:

  • to publish scholarly works on South Asian women;
  • to promote an international debate on the subject;
  • to bridge the gap between science and media, between scholarly production and the activities of NGOs, and between positive and religious and/or ethical thought;
  • to keep web pages for media contacts for the geographical areas involved, namely for all the countries of Greater South Asia: India, Nepal, Tibet, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Maldives, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Taiwan;
  • to keep a list of related sites that can serve as a reference for further studies and as a record of related resources;
  • to function as means for easier and faster communication between scholars and the various centers of research;
  • to provide the readers (who may or may not be involved in such processes) with information on our subject in the various fields in the related areas, and on the non-government organizations (NGOs) involved in disseminating news about the violation of human rights with regard to women, witnessing and recording the violation of these rights, and involved in cooperative and collaborative projects on this topic;
  • to publicize the scholarly study of women in terms of Human Rights (as recognized by the Beijing Conference of 1995);
  • to disseminate our work rapidly.

Therefore, the journal aims to publish in each issue: one or two unpublished articles (depending on the number of pages), one section containing news pertaining to our subjects such as scholarly conferences, PhD projects, talks, meetings, events, and anything related to South Asian women's issues; new titles. The last part of the journal is dedicated to the letters to the editor, to which I or the other editors will answer.

The address for submissions is: (-discontinued- ED)

The first papers we are publishing are some of those presented as talks at the International Conference on Dowry and Bride-Burning. The conference was held at the Harvard Law School from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, 1995 and was planned and organized by Mr. Himendra Thakur, who is on our editorial board, and Dr. Michael Witzel, Wales Professor of Sanskrit at Harvard University.
Dowry is a widespread phenomenon throughout South Asia that has become a serious socio-economic and religious problem. Especially in India, there is a growing number of episodes of assassinations of women whose families have not paid the dowry requested by the bridegroom or his family.

We open the JSAWS with the paper entitled A Tribute to Mahatma Gandhi: His Views on Women and Social Exchange by Dr. Sita Kapadia. She is an Associate Professor of English (Retd.) at the College of Staten Island, The City University of New York. Now Kapadia is the Director of the Self-Enhancement Learning Forum in Houston. In her paper, Dr. Kapadia offers a survey of an aspect of Gandhi's thought which has not been investigated exhaustively: his view of womanhood and the socio-political role of women.

The second paper is entitled Whether Inheritance to Women is a Viable Solution to the Dowry Problem in India by Ms. Subhadra Chaturvedi, Advocate at the Supreme Court of India. Ms. Chaturvedi quotes statistics relating to the reported crimes against women in India, especially against brides. She also gives the legal point of view on women's inheritance and on the Indian National Perspective Plan for women 1988-2000.