A renowned social activist and a prolific academician, Dr. Ranjana Kumari is the Director of Centre for Social Research as well as Chairperson of Women Power Connect. Dr. Kumari has dedicated her life to empowering women across the South Asia region, and is also a prolific writer of many well‐known publications. Dr. Kumari 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”.
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 dowry‐related violence, and the abolition of female foeticide.
In the past, she was a member of the Task Force on Industrial Relations for The International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva and worked as senior professional at United Nations. Currently, she is a member of Global Safety Advisory Board of Facebook. She is also a member of the Twitter’s Trust & Safety Council.
Being an accomplished academician, Dr. Kumari has a number of publications to her credit. Some of her 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, among others. Other publications include: 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.
Dr. Ranjana Kumari combines the two roles of a women activist and scholar with great felicity and panache. Having dedicated her life to significant social causes, Dr. Ranjana Kumari continues to impact the lives of many with her dedication and zeal. She is voice of women on numerous T.V Channels and quoted extensively in print and electronic media.
- Director, Centre for Social Research, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi
- President, Women Power Connect, Only lobbying Organization in India
- Member, National Mission for Empowerment of Women, GOI
- Member, Central Advisory Board (statutory body) on “Pre Conception and Pre Natal Diagnostic Tests Act, 2001”, GOI
- Member, Central Advisory Committee for Prevention of Trafficking in Women and Children, Government of India
- Member, Regional Complaints Committee (against sexual harassment) Reserve Bank of India, Government of India
- Member, Committee on EU-India Relations, India Office, European Union
- Coordinator, South Asia Network Against Trafficking (SANAT) in Persons
- Member, Education Consultative Committee, Planning Commission, GOI
- Senior Advisor, Ministry of Labour, Government of India (2002)
- National Committee on Eradication of Child Labour, GOI (2003)
- Member, Academic Committee, NIPCCD (2000)
- Member, Core Drafting Committee for National Policy on Women, GOI (1999)
- Member, Task Force on Industrial Relations International Labour office, Geneva (1996-97)
- Vice President Centre for Asia-Pacific Women in Politics
- General Secretary, Mahila Dakshata Samiti, New Delhi (1985 -2000)
- Vice President, Mahila Dakshata Samiti, New Delhi (2000-2005)
- Coordinator, South Asia network Against Trafficking in Women and Children
- Coordinator, South Asia Network on Women in Politics (1995-2001)
- Coordinator, Joint Action Front for Women (1997-2004)
- Director, Gender Training Institute, New Delhi (1998-2002)
- Member Advisor, SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, South Asia
- Founder Member, South Asia Forum for People’s Initiative (SAFPI)( 1993)
- Assistant Professor, Delhi University (1978-79)
- Reign She Will: Women’s Strife for Political Space, Har-Anand Publications, New Delhi (2011)
- Gender, Work and Power Relations, Har-Anand Publications, New Delhi (1998)
- Women Parliamentarians: A Study in the Indian Context, Har-Anand Publications, New Delhi (1994)
- Women in Decision Making (ed.) Vikas Publishers, New Delhi (1992)
- Dahej Pidit Mahilayen (Hindi), Maral Prakashan, New Delhi (1991)
- Grameen Bharat Mein Stree Pradhan Parivar (Hindi), Maral Prakashan, New Delhi (1991)
- Brides Are Not For Burning: Dowry Victims in India, Radiant Publishers, New Delhi (1989)
- Growing Up in Rural India: Problems and Needs of Adolescent Girls, Radiant Publishers, New Delhi (1989)
- Widows Abandoned and Destitute Women in India, Radiant Publishers, New Delhi (1989)
- Women Headed Households in Rural India, Radiant Publishers, New Delhi (1989)
- Female Sexuality and Bodily Functions in Hindu Religious Traditions, Joint Women’s Programme, New Delhi (1989)
- Higher Education and Scheduled Tribe Youth: A Case Study of Chattisgarh, Radiant Publishers, New Delhi (1989)
- Impact of Education on Scheduled Caste Youth in India: A Study of Social Transformation in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, Radiant Publishers, New Delhi (1989)
- Apolitical’s list of 100 Most Influential People in Gender Policy 2019
- Recipient of United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) Achievement Award inrecognition of CSR’s role in significantly improving the lives of women in India
- Recipient of Honour of the Nation award in 1990 from the President of India
- Recipient of African Women Award in 1996 for making important contributions to humanity
- Felicitated by Lt. Governor of Delhi for working towards protecting the rights of women of Delhi and improving their quality of life
- Recipient of Honour for commendable work under Crisis Intervention Centre for rape Victims( South West District) from Delhi Commission for Women
- Recipient of Sahajan and Saraswati Award
- Received national and international recognition for working towards women’s empowerment
- Delhi Commission for Women honoured for working towards protection of the rights of women of Delhi and improving their quality of life. The award received on 18th January 2001 from H.E. Shri Vijay Kapoor, Lt. Governor, and NCT of Delhi.
- Recipient of the The Sally Mugabe Memorial Awards (1996) given to women for making important contributions to humanity through their various careers.
- The President of India, Gyani Zail Singh gave her Honour of the Nation award in 1990 for her contribution made towards the empowerment of women.