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Cross-dressing and gender identities discussed at Women’s Day celebrations

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“It is personal choice to dress as a man or woman, and is possible if you have the courage and are ready to be shameless,” said Nithin Manayath, a professor from Mount Carmel College.

He was addressing the audience at the International Women’s Day Celebrations organised by the Gender Sensitisation Cell on Monday. The theme for the event in college was to encourage students to understand and accept differences in gender identity.

Pooja Sukumar, a freelance cartoonist and artist was also present at the event. She spoke about the importance of having a positive image about oneself and said, “This positivity has to be instilled from childhood, so that children grow up with positive thinking.”

Dr Fr Praveen Martis, Principal, presided over the event. He said, “We live in a different world, we need to move on and change along with this dynamic world.”

Women student achievers were felicitated for their meritorious contributions to the College as well as to the society.

Ms Sukumar also said that she appreciates the initiative that the College has taken up to give a platform to discuss gender issues. Based on audience responses regarding their thoughts on gender equality, she drew a doddle on the spot.

As part of the celebrations, several students cross-dressed. Decorations for the event where made from recycled objects and old dupattas in support of eco-feminism. There were also photographs depicting the violence that is carried out on women.

“We have chosen this theme of cross dressing to give recognition that there is a woman in everyone. There is a feminine side in every human being that is in a man as well as in a woman. It is the society that sets norms and restrictions about how a man and woman should act and behave in the society. But it’s the choice that makes the difference,” said Dr Padma Baliga, staff coordinator of the event the Gender Sensitisation Cell.

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