The students of Mannam Memorial Residential Higher Secondary School (MMRHSS) were treated to a few shocking statistics on Friday when an exhibition and lecture was held on ‘Women in History’. About 44.5 per cent of girls in the country are married before the age of 18 years, every one hour 18 crimes against women are reported, female foeticide has resulted in a population with 50 million girls less, are some of these unpleasant numbers.
“We find that the rates of crime against women and children in the state have increased tremendously,” said Susie M A, volunteer with All India Mahila Sanskritik Sangathan (AIMSS) which organised the event. “We want to sensitise the young generation, especially school students to such issues.”
As part of their effort to spread awareness among students about women’s issues and rights of the girl child, they have been organising similar exhibitions in schools and colleges.
“We have already conducted this programme in Holy Angels School and Cotton Hill Girls’ school,” said Susie.
The posters hung up portrayed some eminent women in history. Clara Zetkin, German activist who organised the first International Women’s Day; Susan B Antony, who broke the American government law in 1872 by voting in the Presidential Elections; Marie Curie, the first female Nobel Laureate were some of the women depicted.
The notable Indian women on display included those known for their contribution in the Indian freedom struggle such as poet and activist Sarojini Naidu, Matangini Hazra and V Kuttimalu Amma.
“If these women can do rise to prominence, why can’t you?” asked S Mini, another volunteer of the AIMSS, to students as she spoke to them about the need to be bold and not let anyone take advantage of them.
Mini also advised the students, especially the boys, not to fall into the habit of taking abusive substances like drugs, tobacco and alcohol.
“We find that most of the people who have been convicted of crimes against women and girls also are often those who indulge in drugs and other intoxicants,” she said.