Gender and Women Studies 

Sri Lankan women adapt to and contend with many religious and cultural standards, including powerful ideologies of motherhood, marriage, and the workforce. Women navigate these expectations as they craft their own identities within the doemstic and public spheres. From living with a Sri Lankan family to visiting a local women's shelter, ISLE students are exposed to the cultural, social, economic, and political forces, which shape the image and experience of women.

Program Highlights

"I think the [Images of the Feminine course] provided a lot of valuable insight into my experience in Sri Lanka, and contributed a great deal to shaping my independent study." -Spring '13 student

  • Field lectures at women's development and support centers
  • Opportunity to volunteer in NGOs and organizations dedicated to the support of women
  • Courses in Women Studies and Social Identity
  • 4-week Independent Study period to pursue field research on a topic of choice
  • Travel throughout the island to understand women's experiences in various regions

Relevant Independent Study Projects

  • Olivia Dure (ISLE '15): "From the Margins to the Center: Women, Agency, and Divine Possession"
  • Mitsuki Nishimoto (ISLE '15): "Un-silencing 'Trauma': Counseling as Empowerment for Women Affected by Violence in Sri Lanka"
  • Jasmin Mahabamunuge (ISLE '14): "A Take on Sri Lankan Women's Empowerment through the Lens of Reproductive Health and Family Planning"
  • Samantha Bonnel (ISLE '13): "Tamil Nationalism and the Politics of Women's Dress at Jaffna University"
  • Sarah Robinson (ISLE '12): "An Investigation into the Shifting Social Patterns Concerning Tamil Widows in Post-War Jaffna"
  • Molly Work (ISLE '12): "Sexual and Reproductive Health Services Available to the Plantation Sector"