The Retrospective

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The other day I was in this class of ‘Tally’ trainees who were eager, expectant, highly enthusiastic to start work once their college/ course at ANEW is done. The topic for the day was “Pressures @ Work” (with focus on women related issues). My sincere request to them was to be safe, draw the lines clearly – walk / talk / speak / laugh / dress – so as not to send the wrong signals.

In the light of the day, when a 23 yr old girl succumbed to the torture and her injuries, How should a woman make sure that she is safe? Is there any way at all? The poor girl would have drawn ALL of the above mentioned “lines” clearly. She wasn’t even alone and it wasn’t at an unearthly hour (whatever that is !!). How could she have expected a bus full of perverts ???

So now i feel like reframing my question. Should a woman make sure she is safe ? Isn’t it the state’s and the society’s responsibility to keep her safe as a citizen?

How do we address this issue? A woman needs to work today. She has the education and the ability to contribute to a better tomorrow . We at ANEW believe that “Educate a woman , you educate a family”, for she will make sure that her family is looked after better and more responsibly. Many of our own alumni are testimonial to this fact !!!

Women Empowerment Programs addressed the all round development of women, that made her believe in herself and her importance to society !!! Feminist groups have been able to reach out to all corners of the world to empower women and these issues are now constantly addressed by politicians, social workers et al .

Now it’s time for a CHANGE – I think the need of the hour is to have “Men Empowerment” Programs and an equivalent to the feminist, a “Masculinist” movement, has to evolve. A Man who takes pride in being a man NOT for what he can “DO” to a woman but for what he can do for himself ! A Man who takes pride in himself will never DEGRADE HIMSELF by resorting to violence against others in any form !

By Sumalini Srikumar
Personality development program Coordinator, ANEW

3 Comments

Comments RSS
  1. ANEW_INDIA

    ANEW counselors work hard with the underprivileged women trainees to instill in them the confidence and remove the social phobia attached to commuting alone and commuting after dark. Incidences of violence against women in public, further discourages underprivileged women to leave home and to get empowered – making the mission at ANEW, even more challenging.
    A retrospective article that makes one introspect !

  2. Viji Rao

    Great thoughts, Mala! In fact, companies like Mindtree in Bangalore which have a high proportion of women have a ‘Gender Sensitisation’ program for men, as part of their induction program when they join the company. Besides sensitising them about gender issues (like not insisting on a woman team member to work late unless there is a company car arranged etc) they are also briefed about the consequences of sexual harrassment. I personally believe that very concerted efforts are needed to change the male mind set. As mothers, we can make a beginning…its a long haul but can be done!

  3. Sumalini Shrikumar

    Viji…. we shouldn’t wait for a greater calamity to happen to act…. the time is NOW…Hats off to organisations like Mindtree… and glad at least some have started taking action before the tragedy !!

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