Apolitical is a global internet platform established in 2015, which links a network for public servants in more than 120 countries in a way that allows them to share ideas and solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.
Dr Ranjana Kumari, director of the Centre for Social Research has been included among the 100 Most Influential People in Gender Policy for 2019 in the Apolitical second annual list.
The list, announced on May 30, includes people such as Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Ruth Bader-Ginsburg, Caren Grown, and Michelle Obama. It was created from over 9000 nominations from governments, international organisations, and academia, including UN Women, Women Deliver, Women in Global Health, the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council, Harvard, and the Gates Foundation.
Last year's list was shared by Justin Trudeau, the World Bank, the UN, and the Malala Fund — among others — and was widely covered by news outlets all over the world.
'Honoured to get listed'
Talking to City Spidey, Dr Kumari expressed her views, "It is an honour to be among the 100 most influential people in gender policy. I congratulate all the winners and nominees. The Apolitical list is proof that thousands of people are working tirelessly for gender justice globally. There is a lot of good work happening all around the globe, and there is a lot more that needs to be done to make this world an equitable place for women.”
Qualifications and professional life
Dr Ranjana Kumari dedicated her life to empowering women across the South Asia region. She went to school in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. Her paternal grandfather, a freedom fighter, Pandit Vishwanath Sharma, was the founder member of the famous Kashi Vidyapith of Varanasi, which was the first modern University organised by Indians in British India. After finishing her schooling, she moved to Delhi and did her MA, M.Phil, and Ph.D in Political Science from Jawahar Lal Nehru University.
Her foray into social work was initiated by her concern for a dowry death that took place near her home in 1976. This led to her activism on world-famous publication “Brides are not for Burning”. Besides, Kumari has authored 8 more books on gender that have received critical acclaim.
She has served as the Coordinator of the South Asia Network Against Trafficking (SANAT) in Persons and is a member of the Central Advisory Board on “Pre Conception and Pre Natal Diagnostic Tests Act, 2001”, as well as the Central Advisory Committee for Prevention of Trafficking in Women and Children. Some of her most passionate causes have been the participation of women in democracy and governance, the termination of dowry practices and dowryâ€related violence, and the abolition of female foeticide. Dr. Kumari has spearheaded advocacy initiative on enhancing women’s political participation through passing 33 percent women’s reservation bill in Parliament.
In the year 2015, Dr Kumari received the prestigious Lotus Leadership Award for her outstanding contribution to the well-being of women and society in Asia.
Currently, she is a member of the Global Safety Advisory Board of Facebook. She is also a member of the Twitter’s Trust & Safety Council.