‘Collective women power crucial’

Published: 09th March 2013 12:04 PM  |   Last Updated: 09th March 2013 12:04 PM   |  A+A-

Women can fight structural biases and prejudices by organising themselves, pointed out Aruna Sundararajan, Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Kerala.

She was delivering the international women’s  day lecture on the ‘Role of Women’s Leadership in Empowerment’, organised by the Kerala Management Association on Thursday.

“Kudumbashree movement is a classic example of  how the association helped fight gender biases. In the beginning, Kudumbashree had to encounter many hurdles. The women had to fight against a hostile male-dominated bureaucracy. But eventually, women learnt how to deal with bureaucracy,” she pointed out.

“Kudumbashree’s activities have challenged traditional patriarchy. The male members of the family were initially disturbed when women started going out. Some of them even called on me and raised complaints. But financial independence and a strong network helped women fight back,” he said.

She also narrated an incident when the Kudumbashree women belonging to a district in northern Kerala shook the male-centric world view by going to a movie at night.

“Around 16 women decided to go for a second show. After discussing the potential challenges, they went ahead with their decision. A woman, who was part of the team, told me that the experience altered her world view. She understood that women are entitled to enjoy the beauty of the night. When they reached home, their husbands were a  bit uncomfortable. The women then told their husbands how they have waited for them late into the nights staying hungry and how it is not ethical to get irked,” she explained.

Women should also assert themselves and use their agency to publicly register their opinions.

 “Assertion should not be violent, disrupting harmony. It should be cautious,” she said. The senior bureaucrat also noted that sensitive men played equal roles in addressing issues that affect women. KMA president S R Nair presided over the meet.  


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp