Somdeep Sen '07, of Calcutta, India, has been selected as a research
associate by the Sarataoga Foundation for Women Worldwide, to conduct
research on women's lives in India. Sen, a government major, also will
be studying in Finland during the 2005-2006 academic year, though the
International Student Exchange Program, in which St. Lawrence participates.
The Saratoga Foundation for Women Worldwide advances human rights,
promotes economic justice, supports education reform and improves environmental
health with a specific focus on women of all ages and ethnic background.
Its goal is "to educate and empower a new generation of leaders who
will progress human rights for women regionally, nationally and globally."
For this project, "Research on Women's Lives in Countries Around
the World," the foundation sought 200 volunteers to research and write
a 20-to-30-page paper on women's and girls' lives in countries around
the world. Sen was selected to research the issues in his native country.
The papers will cover such topics as access to education; health care;
family planning; dowry and marriage/divorce issues; cultural and governmental
restrictions on women and girls; the ability of women to enter into
contracts and own property; women's involvement in government and politics;
women's ability to work outside of the home; forms of discrimination
and other relevant issues. Resulting papers will be distributed to
universities; nongovernmental organizations that work in consultative
status with the United Nations; communities and legislative bodies.
It is expected that the research will be conducted over a six-month
period. Sen says that while he may conduct the research from anywhere
in the world, he is hoping to be able to travel to India to do interviews
and gather other information.
He also says that, in the notice he received informing him of his
selection, it was noted that undergraduate students are not normally
chosen as research associates. "The president [of the foundation] e-mailed
me," Sen says, "saying that she doesn't ususally accept college-age
applicants, but was really impressed by my application."
Sen applied for the position through the United Nations Volunteers
Online Volunteering Web site, which connects volunteers and development
organizations via the Internet.
At St. Lawrence
Foundation for Women Worldwide