A GENDER studies program is likely to become part of the University of the South Pacific's (USP) course options.
Program co-ordinator Dr Priya Chattier said USP planned to offer a new Postgraduate Certificate in Gender Studies in 2013 comprising two postgraduate courses
"The proposal has gone through several Academic Standards and Quality Assurance Committees but is awaiting final approval from the Senate," she said.
The main objectives of the course would be to increase the knowledge students have of basic and more complex aspects of gender, in personal and social circumstances.
It also seeks to "develop a gender studies program at the postgraduate level of international standing," added Dr Chattier.
It will also attempt to "train and enhance future academics, policy makers, activists and others who are committed to the principles of gender equality and social justice in the area of gender and development
Simultaneously striving to "serve as a national and regional research and resource centre for gender studies," she said. Fiji Women's Crisis Centre (FWCC) co-ordinator Shamima Ali shared similar sentiments, saying "this is a positive move for the university, it is also about time too".
However, she expressed her wish for consultations to be held with women's groups. "There is a vibrant women's movement doing great work on gender, and a greater sharing of ideas would enhance the program.
"From my experience gender studies is most effective when lecturers and tutors are totally committed, but the FWCC fully backs this initiative," she said.