12th Women’s World Congress 2014 inaugurated at UoH
The 12th Women’s World Congress (WWC) 2014 was flagged off at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) on August 17, 2014. WWC is being held in India for the first time and UoH won the bid to organize the conference in 2010. The theme of the congress for this year is “Gender In changing world”. Participants from over 60 countries are participating in this conference which will witness more than 750 delegates. Around 200 participants from foreign countries will be a part of this congress which will discuss themes such as Gender and Culture, Gender and History, Gender and Management, Violence, Digital divide, Globalisation, Women and Work and Gender and law. There are few workshops also on trafficking of women, new Reproductive technologies, Role of education in empowerment of women, feminist research and empowerment of women.
The inaugural session was presided over by Prof. Ramakrishna Ramaswamy, the Vice –Chancellor of UoH, Prof. Rekha Pandey, Director, WWC 2104, Prof. V Sita, Deputy Director, WWC 2014. The Chief Guest for the programme was Dr. Tessy Thomas, Project Director, Agni-IV Missile (DRDO).
In her keynote address, Dr. Tessy Thomas spoke about the different roles a woman is supposed to play in her life. Starting with homemaker, to teacher, to entrepreneur, a woman has to take care of all the roles. Covering the theme of the congress, she began her keynote address with the Indian scenario and its evolution all these years. She said that it was surprising that women occupy only 1 % of the land in the world. In today’s scenario, a woman is burdened with familial responsibilities. The traditional stereotype of giving preference to boys over girls was also addressed by the speaker. According to Thomas, the first step towards transformation starts right from home. The first step in this direction is education which is a key driver for addressing gender inequality. She also urged the women to be self-reliant and be driven by motivation and high self-esteem. Women need to inculcate leadership qualities which would go a long way in making them the agents of change in the society. Women need to initiate, propagate and promote women’s education so that social and behavior changes take place in the society, she added.
Later Prof. Ramakrishna Ramaswamy, Vice-Chancellor, UoH, welcomed all the participants and delegates from more than 60 countries. He emphasized the need for spreading awareness about women’s education. He alluded to the horrific crimes that shook the entire country and said that there was a need to combat such incidents of violence against women.
On this occasion, a book named “Journey’s into Women Studies”, edited by Dr. Rekha Pande of UoH, was released by Dr. Tessy Thomas. The introduction of the book was given by Prof. Sachidananda Mohanty, Professor of English, UoH. The book is a fascinating story that raises important issues of women’s studies. The author brings out the transformative powers of women in the book and makes them agent of change.
A fascinating cultural programme was also presented by renowned dancer Dr. Ananda Shankar and her colleagues.
Prof. Tutun Mukherjee, Head, CCL, UoH proposed the vote of thanks.
-Saumya Painuli, M.A. Communication, UoH