IAWAWSA (pronounced eye-uh-WOWZA) is the International Association for Women Archaeologists Working in South Asia.
It is our mission to promote and support archaeological research in South Asia, and to promote gender equity in the field of South Asian archaeology. We aim to support these goals by fostering international collaboration and mentoring relationships, by building a community of scholars at all stages of career. We provide services to members in the form of conferences and workshops and other opportunities for professional development and the dissemination of knowledge and the results of research. We seek to engage the public on issues of gender equity, preservation and stewardship, and the importance of increasing our knowledge about our global human heritage.
We work to connect women scholars and students, at all levels of career, who conduct archaeological research in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and Tibet.
The benefits of having this organization are many. It is our hope that this will provide a forum for discussion about conducting research; a community of people with whom to share experiences, news and resources about how to obtain permissions, get funding, and generally do research in South Asia. In addition we hope that this website will be a resource for students interested in pursuing a career in the archaeology of South Asia.
Though the organization is created for women archaeologists, it is not intended to be exclusive or discriminatory in any way. It is created specifically with women in mind, because of the difficulties that women have faced and continue to face in doing archaeological research in South Asia. Some of these challenges are shared by all archaeologists working in South Asia, and some of them are specific to women. These challenges are shared by women born and brought up in South Asia and by women from around the world who go there to do research. By working together, we can begin to break down some of the systemic biases in the field of archaeology in South Asia, and promote new research through collaboration.
We are currently in the process of filing for non-profit 501(c)(3) status in the United States. Once incorporated, we will function as a membership based professional organization, with an elected board of directors, including president, treasurer, secretary and 6 board members at-large. The president will have an advisory board. Committees will also be formed for conferences and workshops, publications and awards. Once established we will have a dues structure for membership, which will be based on appropriate and affordable rates for students, faculty, etc., and variable by currency. News about the filing of this paperwork, and the election of officers etc, will be coming soon.