Report on the series of programmes for the week long International Women’s Day celebrations held on 08.03.2022.
On the occasion of the celebrations of International Women’s Day scheduled on 08th March, 2022. The Office of DSW have observed a weeklong (from 02.03.2022 to 08.023.2022) celebrations of Women’s day by conducting a series of lectures on the theme “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow” by inviting professors, bureaucrats and National Level Awardees of highest honour of the country to participate in the programmes planned.
On this occasion the DSW Office has organized an Inaugural programme on 02nd March, 2022 at 03.00 pm. The programme was inaugurated by the Honorable Vice Chancellor, Prof. B.J. Rao garu, Presided by Prof. K. Suneetha Rani, Head, Centre for Womens’ Studies. Opening remarks were given by Vice Chancellor, Prof. B J Rao garu. Ms. Divya Devarajan, IAS, Secretary & Commissioner – Women, Child, Disabled & Senior Citizens, Government of Telangana was invited as chief guest and Ms. B. Sangkhumi, Padma Shri Awardee (2021), President MHIP; Former Director, Technical & Higher education, Govt of Mizoram; Former member and Chairperson, Mizoram Public Service commission was invited as a speaker. Prof. Alladi Uma, Retd. Professor,Department of English invited as Guest of Honour for the programme. The programme was coordinated by Dr. G. Padmaja, Deputy Dean, Students’ Welfare and the message was given by Prof. G. Nagaraju, Dean, Students’ Welfare.
The office has also conducted a series of panel discussions by inviting the Women faculty members from different schools of our University. Women Faculty members from different streams share their ideas on diverse themes related to women in relation literature, empowerment and science. Each day, the programmes were organized in collaboration with the respective units.
As part of the week long (from 02.03.2022 to 08.023.2022) Women’s day celebrations on the theme “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”, the Office of Dean, Student’s Welfare and Centre for Women’s Studies, UOH had organised an online panel discussion on the topic ‘Women and Empowerment’ on 04th March 2022 from 03.00 pm to 05.00 pm. The invited speakers included Prof. Mary Jessica, School of Management Studies; Prof. Ajailiu Niumai, CSSEIP; Prof. Suchandra Ghosh, Department of History and Dr. G. Sridevi, School of Economics to share their valuable insights. The panel discussion was chaired by Dr. Anurekha Chari Wagh, Department of Sociology, UOH.
Prof Nagaraju, Dean Student’s Welfare, welcomed the speakers and introduced them. In the welcome address he has highlighted the sociological significance of women empowerment.
The first speaker Prof Mary Jessica, highlighted the need to recognize that experience of deprivation cuts across gender, caste and class. Though one has observed an increased number of women in the corporate and management sector, they are mostly located as support staff. There are considerably fewer women executives at the higher levels of decision making. Highlighting the presence of glass ceiling, Prof Jessica focussed on how we need to be inspired by a number of women icons who have made a huge impact in the corporate world. Further she also highlighted how the pandemic has also a gendered effect, with women at different levels facing job and income loss. She also referred to how institutions such as family and educational spaces can play a supportive role in furthering women’s fight for equality and power. She concluded by emphasizing on the need for women to focus on self- care, self -acceptance and be confident of their decisions.
Prof Ajailiu Niumai started her talk by highlighting the importance of inclusive policies and stated that only by including its women’s citizens can any nation prosper. She also highlighted the role of education in ensuring that women’s access to resources, assets and positions of authority is guaranteed. Drawing from her own life experiences, she emphasized the role of supportive networks such as family, friends, peers and colleagues who would play an important role in supporting the life choices made by women. Prof Ajailiu, also shared some insights with regards to violence against women, by drawing attention to cases of foeticide, child marriage and human trafficking. She reiterated that the pandemic has been a harsh experience for women and thus needs to be addressed. She also drew attention to the lack of representation of women in political offices of power, thereby advocating for a need to address erasure of women’s experience and voices. By sharing two inspiring stories of strong women who have fought the violence experienced by them, and created a new path for themselves, she emphasized the strength and perseverance that women have.
The next speaker, Prof Suchandra Ghosh, argued for the need to look back to our past to draw inspiration from some strong women, who have carved for themselves a special role in the political economic field. Drawing upon the experiences of women rulers, the speaker highlighted how women over the years have negotiated for power. She also highlighted that to access and control power, these women rulers have used various strategies at their disposal; thereby highlighting how the fight for power is always contested and needs to be fought for. Prof Ghosh, also drew our attention to the need to carefully look for sources of knowledge in the past and consciously attempt to creatively engage with our history.
The final speaker, Dr. G Sridevi, addressed the issue of empowerment of women, by highlighting the need to bring in intersectional analysis into the labour market. She stated that women’s access to resources, to market and power of decision making is organized in context of our identities, which are themselves framed within the intersections of our gender, caste, class, ethnic and religious contexts. She stated that wage gap is a structural issue and therefore it is a matter of concern as to why even with increase in women’s access to education, one observes decrease women’s participation in labour markets. Further she also highlighted the need to focus on regional differences, including the rural and urban experiences. Dr. Sridevi emphasized on the role that the state has to play in ensuring adequate nutrition and ensuring food security of the marginalised communities.
The chairperson Dr. Anurekha Chari Wagh, in her remarks highlighted four aspects. One, each of the scholars drawing from their disciplinary backgrounds emphasized how complex the question of empowerment of women is. It requires it to be addressed not only through policies by the state but also through consistent support by institutions such as family. Two, the need to carefully look at data, sources of knowledge, our methods of analysis to address the complexity of power dynamics in context of gender, caste, class, ethnicity, sexuality and religion. Three, the need to address the systemic erasure of voices, from the marginalized communities and making visible the complex ways in which access to power is denied and inequality is institutionalised. Finally, the importance of self-care, confidence and self-acceptance among women, which would go a long way in empowering women, because it would be defined by themselves.
The panel discussion ended with a vote of thanks by Prof. Nagaraju, Dean, Students Welfare, UOH.
The office has conducted another Online panel discussion on 05th March, 2022 on ‘Women and Literature’ by inviting Prof. D. Vijayalakshmi, Department of Telugu, School of Humanities as Chairperson for the programme along with a) Prof. C. Annapurna, Department of Hindi b) Prof. Sunita Mishra, Centre for English Language Studies c) Dr. D. Vijaya Kumari, Department of Telugu and d) Dr. Rafia Begum, Department of Urdu as invited speakers. Prof Nagaraju, Dean Student’s Welfare, welcomed the speakers and introduced them. In the welcome address he has highlighted the role of women in development of different languages and their contributions in redefining the literary discourse in mainstream languages such as Telugu, HIndi, Urdu and English. Prof. Vijayalakshmi, Dr Vijayakumari and Prof Darla Venkateswarrao have deliberated on the social position of Telugu literature from multiple perspectives. Prof Annapurna has articulated the means and methods of presenting the women issues and challenges in Hindi literature. Dr Rafia Begum also discussed the ways in which women were presented in Urdu literature. Dr. Padmaja has also shared her thoughts on women and literature and the session ended with a vote of thanks.
Another online panel discussion was organized by the office on 07th March, 2022 on ‘Women in Science’ by inviting Prof. Geeta K Vemuganti, Dean, School of Medical Sciences as Chairperson for the programme along with a) Prof. Lalitha Guruprasad, School of Chemistry b) Prof. Rukmani Mohanta, School of Physics c) Dr. Arunasree M K, School of Life Sciences and d) Dr. Rukma Rekha, School of Computer and Information Sciences as invited speakers.
The honourable Vice Chancellor Prof B J Rao garu highlighted the vital role played by women scientists in modern science. In his message he recalled the great contributions of one of the first women Nobel laureate madam Mary Curie. Prof Nagaraju, Dean Student’s Welfare, welcomed the speakers and introduced them. In the welcome address he has highlighted the role of women scientists in scientific inventions and discoveries.
All the speakers shared their personal experiences with science as a profession and science as a laboratory and experimental process. They highlighted the importance of maintaining personal and professional work balance. One of the important messages that emerged out of the discussion is the way women scientists evolve the coping mechanism to excel in scientific research and practice. It was one of the best panel discussions that inspired a number of the participants.
All the Lecture series was organized through online mode via Google meet and also the programme was live-streamed on Facebook.
On the last day of Celebrations of International Women’s Day, the office organized a Valedictory programme on 08th March, 2022 at C.V. Raman Auditorium. Welcome address was given by Dr.G. Padmaja, Deputy, DSW – 1. Message was given by the Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, Prof. B.J.Rao garu. The programme was Chaired by Prof. Geeta K Vemuganti, Dean, School of Medical Sciences. The speakers for the programme are a) Prof. Aparna Rayaprol, Department of Sociology b) Prof. Mery Jessica, Dean, School of Management Studies c) Prof. R. Radha, Dean, School of Maths & Statistics d) Prof. G. Nagaraju, Dean, Student’s Welfare e) Dr. Rajasree, I/c CMO, Health Centre f) Shree Gyanmote, Hindi Officer. Ms. V. Shirisha and Ms. Gargi Mondal were the Women Student Representatives. The programme ended with vote of thanks by Dr. M. Nagamani, Deputy, Chief Warden. All the panel members shared their perspective on the status of women and the need to empower women in diverse spheres of life. Some of the women officers also shared their personal experiences and challenges they had confronted in their life.
It was well acknowledged by the students, faculty and staff of the University of Hyderabad.
Prof. G. Nagaraju – DSW, Dr. G. Padmaja- Deputy-DSW, Prof. Santosh Kanade- Deputy-DSW