Celebrating Women at UBC: Dr. Sunaina Assanand

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Photo credit: Cicely Blain

Dr Assanand and Passions

Dr Sunaina Assanand is a faculty member with the Department of Psychology at UBC. She is interested in a wide array of disciplines, including gender, cultural, and personality psychology. She is particularly passionate about issues surrounding gender and the application of psychology to international development. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, most of who live in Vancouver after migrating from Uganda.

Dr Assanand and International Women’s Day

Dr Assanand is inspired by her mother, who worked for thirty years with battered women from immigrant and visible minority backgrounds. She worked around anti-violence and is a role model for pursuing equality and safety for women in Canada.

Dr Assanand is also celebrating her twelve year old daughter this International Women’s Day. She believes that having a young daughter has made her more aware of gender issues and has shown her what immense potential young girls have. “Every girl should have the opportunity to fulfil her potential,” she says.

Dr Assanand and Women’s Issues

She is very passionate about the rights of the girl child, particularly in an international context. She believes that every child should have the right to education, freedom from physical and sexual violence, and the ability to contribute to her community. She would like to see continued progress toward gender equality. Dr Assanand believes that the increased opportunities for women over the last fifty years have been very positive; however, there is still room for growth when it comes to equality between the sexes.

As an instructor, Dr Assanand would like to see more opportunities for students to commit to social change both locally and internationally. She believes that students should be able to recognise their own voice in contributing to social change. She hopes for an educational community in which individuals are not limited by sex, gender, sexual orientation, race or any other factor.

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