CAMPUS: A two day UGC national seminar on ‘Gender and Work- Challenging Conventional Wisdom’ organized by Department of Sociology and industrial relations was inaugurated on March 1, 2017.
The seminar was inaugurated by the chief guests Prof Babu Mathews, Visiting Professor at National Law College, Dr D.S. Leelavathi, Economics professor at Mysore University and Dr K.G. Gayatri, Former associate professor at ISEC Bangalore.
The Principal Dr Fr Victor Lobo SJ addressed the gathering and spoke about the ‘Eastern Ethos’ and the gender discrimination which is imbibed in a person right from his/her childhood. Further the key note speaker, Prof Babu Thomas said, “Gender discrimination does not just happen at work. Women also have to undergo sexual assault and harassment and domestic violence. There is undervaluing of women’s capabilities.”
He further added that the main reason why women are discriminated is because they are treated like private properties. He spoke about the movements of ‘Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan’, an organization where thousands of Muslim women all across the country and who challenged the ‘Triple Talaaq’ and the patriarchal norms.
“One reason why this patriarchy exists on top is because there are more men who have secured their places above women. To study and understand the dimensions of patriarchy, it is very important to study feminism. Males should be feminists and it is totally worth it,” he added.
Dr Leelavathi spoke about the extreme feminism which says that the institution of marriage in itself is extremely patriarchal. “Not all women are poor, and not all poor people are women,” she said. She said that gender is a social construct and it’s high time that people reconstruct and deconstruct the ideology and get more knowledge of it and the existing norms.