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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

ISSN Print: 1072-8325
ISSN Online: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.v2.i4.30
pages 225-242


Lalita Subrahmanyan
Department of Teacher Development, St. Cloud State University, 720 Fourth Avenue South, St. Cloud, MN 56301


This article discusses the problems women academic scientists in India face in their lives and careers because of gender. The data for this article were collected as part of an ethnographic case study of women in the natural, physical, and medical sciences at a leading university in southern India. The author believes that women scientists are extremely aware of how their position in the academy is quite different from that of men. They understand the restrictions put on them by a patriarchal society, and how those restrictions affect their careers. Unfortunately, none of these women have made any efforts to address their problems collectively. The author argues that these women do indeed have a feminist perspective of a kind, but in spite of the very active women's movement in India, they are part of a large group of women who have been completely disassociated from it. As a result, they have not gained anything from the movement. They have not contributed anything to the movement either, a situation the author feels ought to be changed because of the renewed emphasis on gender, science, and development.