Activist, Director of the Centre for Social Research (CSR)
- Ranjana Kumari is a renowned academician and a prominent women’s rights activist. She currently serves as the Director of the Centre for Social Research (CSR) in Delhi, as well as the Chairperson of Women Power Connect (WPC), a national level organization of women’s groups.
- Kumari went to school in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, after which she moved to Delhi and did her MA, M.Phil and Ph.D in Political Science from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). Her foray into social work was initiated by her distress regarding a dowry death that took place near her home in 1976. Having witnessed such an abhorrent crime, she took part in a protest with Ms. Pramila Dandavate, the then president of the Mahila Dakshata Samiti. At the time, she was employed as a lecturer in Delhi University.
- Kumari also serves as the Coordinator of the ‘South Asia Network against Trafficking in Persons’ (SANAT) and is a member of the Central Advisory Board for the ‘Pre Conception and Pre Natal Diagnostic Tests Act, 2001’ and the ‘Central Advisory Committee for Prevention of Trafficking in Women and Children’.
- She has recently been appointed as a member of the National Mission for Empowerment of Women by the Prime Minister of India. She is also the General Secretary of the Mahila Dakshata Samiti, Coordinator of Joint Action Front for Women (JAFW), has been senior advisor to the Ministry of Labor, Government of India and also member of the Task Force on Industrial Relations for the International Labour Organization(ILO) in Geneva.
- Kumari has dedicated her life to empowering women across South Asia and has authored many well-known publications. Some of her published books are – Gender, Work, and Power Relations: A case study of Haryana; Women in Politics: Forums and Processes; Reign She Will; Brides Are Not For Burning; Dahej Pidit Mahilayein. She has also published a number of research reports, such as – Higher Education and Scheduled Tribe Youth: A Case Study of Chattisgarh; and Impact of Education on Scheduled Caste Youth in India: A Study of Social Transformation in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.
- Some of the causes closest to her heart include participation of women in democracy and governance, ending of dowry practices and dowry-related violence and the abolition of gender-based sex selection. Having dedicated her life to significant social causes, Dr. Ranjana Kumari continues to impact the lives of many with her dedication and zeal.