While technology is helping Indian women in many ways, it is not helping all women. In the rural parts of the country where farming is the main source of income, the traditional manual labor jobs that have historically been performed by women (manual plant irrigation, weed picking, wheat grinding) are becoming obsolete (Dunlop & Velkoff, 1999). New forms of technology are being introduced which either perform these tasks (e.g., a wheat grinding machine) or eliminate the need for them completely. The jobs that are created by the use of the new technology (e.g., wheat grinding machine operator) do not generally go to women. On the other hand, Glass Bead Liquid Culture Technology can help rural farmers, both make and female, by making plant propagation less expensive and more effective.

Dr. Seema Prakash told me that she has seen a slow but definite change in the social climate for women in science and technology fields in India, but there is still a long way to go (personal communication, July 21, 2007) . She noted that while women in science careers are accepted as middle managers and subordinates, men are still not accepting of women in upper management and top supervisory positions. The male managers in her own company did not wish Dr. Prakash luck when she went to London to demonstrate her invention for a global competition, nor did they congratulate her when she received an award for GBLCT. When I asked Dr. Prakash what she would like to see for the future of women in India, she explained that she would like to see more female scientists as directors of the National Institutes and as chief executives of technology companies. Even more, she would one day like to see a female scientist as the Director General of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research for the Government of India. That would certainly demonstrate an acceptance of female scientists within the Indian government!


1 Comment

  1. riversk said,

    July 31, 2007 at 10:52 pm

    Tasha, very informative paper. I liked the extra page just for the culture of Indian women. The last paragraph you mention speaking to her, I may have missed it (I’m getting tired), but I was wondering how you made contact. Did you already know her?
    Nice work!


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