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Film Exposing Gender Bias in South Asia to be Screened Nov. 30 at FGCU
11/26/2012

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Gender bias and violence against women in South Asia are the focus of a documentary to be screened Friday, Nov. 30 at noon in Reed Hall, Room 249 at Florida Gulf Coast University. Admission is free.

"Trapped: Stories from Puppets of Patriarchy," produced and directed by Assistant Professor Nairruti Jani of FGCU's Division of Social Work, explores how male-dominated societies in India and other Asian countries leave many women powerless and vulnerable to prostitution, sex trafficking and HIV exposure. The film is based on 10 years of research experience exploring the plight of South Asian women, who often face gender bias from birth.

"In certain tribes in rural India, daughters are donated into prostitution even before they are born," said Jani, who was born and raised in India. "For some, it is the only means of income."

Nothing short of dramatic change in the fabric of patriarchal societies will help break the cycle of discrimination and degradation, she believes.

"Trapped: Stories from Puppets of Patriarchy" is based on conversations with dozens of victims of gender bias as well as social workers who deal with the repercussions. Although shot in India, the film also exposes discrimination against women in nearby countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar (Burma) and Sri Lanka. Many women Jani interviewed were so traumatized and fearful from their experiences that they would not agree to go on camera. Jani relates their stories to illustrate and comment on the persistence of patriarchal power that keeps girls uneducated and women exploited.

"It's my personal journey in the research," Jani said. "This film is an inspiring resource for academic learning and human-rights advocacy."

She will lead a discussion of the 47-minute film after the screening.

For more information, contact Jani at 590-7828 or njani@fgcu.edu.


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