The Women's Studies Programme
BY JUDITH GRANT
Women's studies Programmes have significantly increased in number and expanded in content at many university campuses across Canada in the past two decades. At the University of New Brunswick this multidimensional and inter- disciplinary programme was implemented in 1986 with an initial enrolment of two students. The Programme is now completing its third year. There are, at present, 16 students within this Women's Studies Minor, with six graduating this year.
The programme requires a student to accumulate 24 credit hours for a Minor focus within various disciplines. The students are provided with a varied and diverse examination of the lives of women throughout history and within contemporary society through the following perspectives and disciplines: Psychology, Sociology, History, Literature, Political Science, Anthropology and English, plus two core courses that examine the basic feminist theories inherent in Women's Studies. The Minor Programme succeeds in providing a comprehensive approach within the various disciplines, thus giving the students a more balanced understanding of women in society.
The Women's Studies Minor may be the catalyst for change in the lives of many women students. The Programme entails a consciousness-raising aspect that unveils the invisible and silenced portions of the lives of women. Such knowledge succeeds in empowering women and helps them to understand the unfairness and injustice in our patriarchal society. The revelations gained from the knowledge within the Women's Studies courses help in expanding the lives of the students and enriching them immeasurably. The integration of the Women's Studies Programme at the University of New Brunswick is a focus long overdue. That it has been implemented and termed a success attests to the tenacity and hard work of the feminist scholars at this University. The Programme has succeeded, and will continue to succeed, in providing its students with a knowledge of, and for, women that is unparalleled in other university courses.
Judith Grant is a mature student at the University of New Brunswick who graduated in May with a B.A. Degree. She is also an active member of CCLOW New Brunswick.