CHENNAI: Today, people do not know how to differentiate between rights and discrimination, said Esther Mariaselvam, head of Action Aid, an NGO, at a convention on Rights of Women. organised by the Department of Sociology, MOP College for Women, along with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), at the college on Wednesday.
“People impose their views and we accept it, thinking that it’s our right. Neither do we question nor fight and we end up being the sufferers,” she said, addressing the gathering of teachers and students.G Gladstone Xavier, Head of the Department of Social Work at Loyola College, gave an overview of human rights laws and the functioning of the NHRC.
“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) drafted by Eleanor Roosevelt is a milestone document in the history of human rights. It was a draft keeping in mind different cultural backgrounds and prescribed a common standard of achievements for all people and all nations. This was to protect every individual’s right, but sheer violation is all that is taking place today, and this must be curbed,” he said.
Esther pointed out the discrimination women had to put up with at the workplace and home. “Everyday, a woman’s labour constitutes five hours of unpaid work. Though its tiring, it is never appreciated. A woman is always looked at as someone who is meant to be in the kitchen, her career and work doesn’t count,” she said.
“We got a communication from the University Grants Commission asking if we wanted to organise such an event to create awareness. We immediately took it up and decided on this topic to help our women students understand and know their rights, so that wherever they go tomorrow they will be able to lead their lives with dignity,” said Lalitha Balakrishnan, Principal of the college.