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Graduate student receives prestigious Carter Center internship
From left: Rosalynn Carter, Annu Daftuar and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
Determined to explore how gender, race and class distinctions shape our societies and customs, Texas Woman’s University graduate student Annu Daftuar is completing a human rights program internship at The Carter Center. Founded by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn, the prestigious Atlanta-based organization is committed to human rights and the alleviation of human suffering.
Daftuar, one of only three interns chosen this semester, is overseeing two social media campaigns focusing on the role of faith in combating gender violence and women’s role in peacebuilding activities, respectively; the campaigns are part of a human rights initiative by center that brings together human rights defenders from around the world each year.
In her role, Daftuar also travels. She attended the 60th Commission on the Status of Women in March at the United Nations in New York.
“It was fabulous,” she said. “I met a lot of interesting and important people, who are committed to protecting human rights for women.”
A particular highlight for Daftuar was meeting Ruchira Gupta, founder and president of India-based Apne Aap Women Worldwide. The grassroots organization works to end sex trafficking by organizing at-risk girls and women into small self-empowerment groups to access legal, social and economic rights.
Daftuar is the first student from TWU’s Department of Multicultural Women’s and Gender Studies to intern at the center, said Claire L. Sahlin, Ph.D., interim associate dean of TWU’s College of Arts and Sciences. She likely is the first TWU student to have the honor.
“Annu Daftuar is highly committed to issues related to human rights around the globe,” Sahlin said. “She is a thoughtful, hard-working individual who brings many outstanding experiences to the internship.”
Daftuar’s internship ends April 28, and she will graduate in May with a master’s degree in multicultural women’s and gender studies.
After a short trip back to India, she plans to attend doctoral program at State University of New York at Stony Brook. She hopes to build her career with positions that combine the nonprofit human rights efforts with academia.
“This field is growing and requires more research,” she said. “There is a lot to be learned about patriarchy and how patriarchal institutions shape our understanding of the world.”
Although Daftuar says she saw plenty of gender inequities while growing up in India, her education at the University of Delhi empowered her to question the status quo.
“It’s not unusual for parents to make all the decisions for girls and women or for women not be treated equally as men,” she said. “And women cannot take this as a given.”
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Page last updated 5:04 PM, December 7, 2018