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Taanya is a researcher from India passionate about the subject of gender discrimination and women’s rights, among other development and welfare issues, especially in the context of South Asia. She has completed her M.A. and M. Phil in Political Science from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India, where her thesis focused on debates surrounding women’s agency and autonomy in patriarchal societies, and how democratic nation states navigate the competing questions of individual freedoms and group rights in a multicultural context.
She has volunteered with different NGOs promoting women’s rights and other welfare issues. Before coming to Oxford, she worked as a Research Associate at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi where she was part of a two year long ethnographic study analysing the Delhi government’s education policies and reform efforts directed towards teaching at the right level (TaRL). Currently, Taanya is also involved as a Research Assistant on the ESRC funded GendV project, based in the Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge, which explores urban transformations, changing gender relations and newer forms of gender based violence in New Delhi and Johannesburg.
In 2019, Taanya was also a consultant with the United Nations Population Fund on a qualitative sociological study studying shifts in parental attitudes towards daughters in India since the 1990s. Building on some of this work, Taanya’s current Dphil project focuses on studying the contradictions of modern daughterhood in India, persisting son preference and changing moralities of the middle and upper classes, where new meanings are being assigned to daughters’ value and worth.