Intimate Partner Violence and paradoxical role of paid work for middle-class women in abusive relationships
The State of Gender Equality – #GenderGaps with Prof Smita Kumar on Intimate Partner Violence and paradoxical role of paid work for middle-class women in abusive relationships.
Greetings from the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi!
On behalf of the Gender Impact Studies Center (GISC) at IMPRI, GenDev Centre for Research and Innovation and Delhi Post News, we invite you to a IMPRI #WebPolicyTalk –
The State of Gender Equality – #GenderGaps
Prof Smita Kumar, Assistant Professor, Al Akhawayn University, Morocco
In the last 20 years, I have performed varied roles, from teacher and researcher to community worker, yoga instructor, HR leader, and activist. After growing up in the small industrial town of Bokaro Steel City, I have pursued opportunities to study, work, and live in nine cities in three continents. My varied transnational experiences have instilled a deep faith in human flourishing and lifelong learning.
It was a privilege to pursue a doctoral degree after 12 years of a successful corporate career. The experience opened my mind to different ideologies and the value of a liberal arts education. I fell in love with research that went beyond academic boundaries. My dissertation was motivated by my personal experience of partner violence, allowing me to understand the empowering role of work for middle-class women in abusive relationships.
I have since embarked on a journey as a researcher-activist, engaging in research on intimate partner violence and work-family spillover, researcher self-care, and transformative learning in students through mindfulness. I am driven by research that empowers researchers and communities and has the potential to drive social change. It is my commitment to give back to the community that drives me to write—sharing the wisdom I acquire from coresearchers (participants) and students.
After a doctorate from The George Washington University, Washington D.C., I taught courses at the Indian Institute of Management, Bengaluru and currently, I work as an Assistant Professor of Human Resource Development at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, in Al Akhawayn University, Ifrane, Morocco.
Currently, I am engaged in two studies on intimate partner violence: the first study aims to understand the work-family spillover in Indian middle-class women who experience intimate partner abuse and ethical dimensions of organizational engagement. The second research is motivated by the current pandemic. In this study, I explore how working from home during COVID-19 has impacted employees who experience partner abuse.
These research projects have led me to engage in establishing a corporate alliance to end domestic violence in India. This alliance will bring together public and private organizations, domestic violence services organizations, counseling and mental health professional organizations and academia to collaborate in research, policy development, advocacy, training and capability building focused towards employee well-being and safe workplaces, preventing negative impact of intimate partner violence on employees and employers.
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