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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.

ISEP At St. Lawrence
UN Volunteers
Sarataoga Foundation for Women Worldwide

 


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