Single, strong and successful

Single, strong and successful

Single, strong and successful

In one’s everyday life, one may, at times, come across many a grumpy middle-aged, single woman bemoaning her fate while she vents her frustration on all and sundry. On the other hand, Dr V S Elizabeth, Professor and Coordinator of the Centre for Women & Law at the National Law School of India University (NLSIU) is a refreshing change in this cynical world, giving the whole concept of being “single” a special meaning.
Cheerful and full of enthusiasm, Elizabeth is a gifted teacher, a voracious reader and an enthusiastic learner. Her lively nature and ready smile conceal the fact that she has achieved a great deal academically, travelled widely and mentored countless girls over the past 18 years.

Scholar with a social conscience
Elizabeth’s first love is History, a subject in which she excelled in Jyoti Nivas College, Bangalore, where she did her Bachelor of Arts course. It was during one of the Sociology classes taught by the principal, Sr Jovita, at Jyoti Nivas College that Elizabeth’s presentation on drug addiction was well received. Everyone was impressed by her lucid thinking and forceful oratory. There was no looking back, as it was then that Elizabeth decided to become a teacher.
She did her Master’s programme from Bangalore University and then her Ph.D at Mangalore University throughout which she scored high marks, secured ranks and scholarships, including the UGC scholarship offered to meritorious Ph.D students.
Never one to take short cuts, she struggled to get her first teaching assignment, but the effort paid off because it eventually paved the way for her to get a fulfilling teaching job at the National Law School of India University.
So keen was Elizabeth to get a job in this reputed college that under the guidance of the former director of NLSIU, Dr Madhava Menon, she even did her LLB, as a law degree is compulsory for a teaching job at NLSIU.

Giving women a voice
Elizabeth teaches Feminist Jurisprudence for the final year LLB and LLM students at NLSIU. Her expertise has been recognised and she has been invited to the UK, USA, China, Singapore, Australia, Nepal, Pakistan and Canada, to chair seminars and conferences on women’s issues.
She organises legal literacy courses at women’s colleges in Bangalore and other cities for the benefit of young women. She also liaises with women’s groups across India.
She has been the Sexual Harassment Policy advisor under the Code to Combat Sexual Harassment. She has also helped to draft the outline for a Feminist Jurisprudence course with Prof Rajput, and former chairperson of the National Commission for Women (NCW) Dr Poornima Advani. Based on her work with NCW, Elizabeth with other faculty members of the Washington College of Law, USA, redrafted the course outline and had it incorporated in the course at NLSIU.

Strong work ethic
Elizabeth was invited to join the governing board of the International Association of Law Schools with its headquarters in Washington DC in 2002 and she served on it till May 2008. Having chaired countless meetings, Elizabeth’s most memorable session, she says, was the one where she shared the podium with actor and activist Shabana Azmi.
Since Elizabeth is single, she opted to stay in the hostel and has been appointed Chief Warden of the Women’s Halls of Residence and the Faculty Advisor of the Student Bar Association of NLSIU. Strong and positive, Elizabeth believes in counting her blessings. She enjoys the time spent with her elderly parents and her siblings.  A perfect example of a single, strong and successful woman, Elizabeth is a self-confessed workaholic but she insists that she “never forgets to inhale the heady fragrance of roses along the way”.

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