Sunday, 30 August 2015
GENDER SENSITIZATION LECTURE by Ms. Renuka Mukadam
Ms Renuka Mukadam, an avid speaker on Gender related issues began with sharing the importance of the session on Gender Sensitization. The Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act passed in December, 2013 includes conduction of such sensitization and awareness sessions.
The UGC decided to look at how the colleges were dealing with various struggles related to gender such as gender bias, etc. The report ‘Saksham’ was developed and it depicted that approximately 42% of students were females in every college and that is why such sessions are important. These are for both females and males, hence, are not gender restricted.
Next we discussed the difference between equality and equity. Equality pertains to equal rights in equal circumstances whereas, equity is equal rights posing special conditions.
This followed by an interesting film about standard stereotypes in our day to day lives like boys should not cry or girls should dress in feminine ways only, etc.
Then she explained the difference between sex and gender. Sex is biological identity of a person while Gender is socio-cultural identity. Gender is constructed by a process called ‘socialisation’. It is the conditioning of a person defined as a process of different upbringing of boys and girls. Efforts are being put to change these stereotypes. One such example is - women cab drivers, although it does not ensure safety of female passengers, it is bringing changes and is a step towards discrimination against women with regards to profession.
She then emphasized on the wrong notions portrayed by the media such as when a girl says ‘no’ to romance it means ‘yes’. This is one of the reasons for bad acceptance of rejection by boys, leading to stalking, acid attacks, etc.
Another video was shown enacting what girls and boys are made to realise since the day they are born such as the colours they should dress in, responsibilities, attitude, etc.
This was followed by a discussion on patriarchal and matriarchal society. India is predominantly a patriarchal society implying that power and its dynamics are given to men. She talked about sexuality which is not just sexual behaviour but also includes thoughts and attitude.
She explained the meaning of sexual harassment. An overview of Sexual Harassment Act, 2013 was explained and the case of Bhavri Devi was discussed which lead to the ‘Vishakha Guidelines’. It applies to harassment of women at workplaces, it also includes educational institutes.
It involves ‘quid pro quo’ which means demanding favours in return of something else, physical contact, showing pornography, making sexually coloured remarks. It is different from flirting in many aspects like touch, stare, etc. This followed by another video regarding sexual harassment and the varying opinions of boys and girls about eve teasing. It was an informative video urging females to take stand and complain. The helpline no. 103 was shown as well.
She further explained as to what should be done to lodge a case to the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC). A written complaint is lodged within 3 months. During the period of enquiry, certain reliefs are given to the victim such as leave during the period. She stressed that ICC information should be displayed in the campus.
The session was followed by a question-answer session. Ms. Renuka finished with a beautiful quote
“Men of Quality respect Women’s Equality”