‘Privileged women should work to uplift those who are not’

This International Women’s Day, rights activists talk about inclusive policies that bring together groups like joginis and sweepers that are otherwise neglected

Published: 08th March 2017 01:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th March 2017 05:55 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: That women are second to none remains a universally accepted fact today. On Wednesday, the International Women’s Day, various events are lined up to celebrate empowerment to women. However, these efforts cannot yield desired results and there is a need to re-look into intervention policies to empower women, say those who have advocated women’s rights for years now.

Take for instance the current s o c i a l me d i a c amp a i gn, #WeAreEqual by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. “Celebrities endorsing messages on why men and women are equal is a positive intervention. However, they alienate a section of women like joginis, sweepers, or housemaids,” pointed Gogu Shyamala, noted feminist and Dalit writer. While cookery contests, dance and painting competitions on empowering themes can give women a chance to express themselves, the ideological aspect needs to be addressed, she stressed.

“Women are either worshipped or their personalities are determined by a contest. No one considers that respect is the first step to equality. Women who are privileged need to work to uplift those who are not,” she added. Policies that address these excluded groups should be developed and interventions should take place on a continuous basis. “Women’s day should be dedicated to reviewing these policies and the status of women,” she said. K Vimala, noted linguist, poet and founder of Mukta - Telangana Women’s Collective, said that gender equality should be practised at home.

Recognising men behind the successful women

Tharuni, an NGO that works for upliftment of women, in an innovative way to celebrate the lives of successful individuals, will award the men behind their achievements. The NGO has selected nine men and will felicitate them on March 8. The nine awardees include Anil Kumar Ravuri, who kickstarted Hyderabad Bikerni Club, AV Prasada Rao, who encouraged his daughter to document 125 UNESCO sites, Reddy Rama Rao, who served his ailing wife for 13 years, Peter Jacob, who encouraged his wife Anita Peter to become Mrs India, KC Yadav, for encouraging his wife to initiate Vriksha Bandhan programme, D Bhikshamaih who helped his wife Bhagyalaxmi MD to take up her own real estate firm, Seshu Srinivas, for mentoring an international trainer by encouraging her for 30 years and Late Sri Gutta Subrahmanyam, who raised all his children without gender bias.

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