CAMPUS: A strident call to fight exclusion in all forms was the highlight of a public lecture on ‘Towards Radical Inclusivity’ given at the SJC on Tuesday.
The guest speaker Dr Smitha Radhakrishnan from Wellesly College, Boston, United States of America, discussed dadical inclusivity under the four main areas of Work, Norm, Love and Knowledge.
“Exclusion has become of part of our everyday life experience,” she said talking about the various forms of exclusion people encounter in their lives which includes subtle acts of discrimination usually along the lines of sexuality, gender, caste and race.
With equal access to sustainable and fulfilled life still a faraway aspiration for most people in our society, Dr Smitha said that the absence of women driving a commercial car in India and US is connected to deeply held conviction about the inverse relationship of women’s safety and women mobility.
She further said that in India the women’s labour force participation is the lowest in the world and it’s declining. “It went from 37 per cent of 2004-05 to 29 per cent in 2010-11. This has nothing to do with physical capacity,” she said.
Dr.Meera Chakravorthy, former member of Karnataka State Women’s Commission, said it was important for every individual, especially women, to learn their rights and ascertain it.
Reacting to a question from the audience about the Supreme Court declaring transgenders as the third gender, Dr Akkai Padmashali enquired who the first gender was, if they were considered third gender. “I decide my gender, patriarchy has no role to play in it,” she said.
With more such public lectures planned Prof. Latha Paul, faculty of Social Work Department, and Convener of the SJC Gender Sensitisation Cell, said the cell is planning for in-house training, irrespective of the course of study.
“The younger generation is the integral part who can be the change in term of such sensitive issues of gender. Our youth volunteers who will be trained to work with other class and departments and bring about the awareness about the issues and though them we would like to reach out to the civil society,” she said.
The lecture was organised by the GSC in collaboration with Ondede.