This year’s International Women’s Day saw CVVians pause in the pre-summer heat to acknowledge the women they are, the women they know, and the women they don’t know but exist. Following the theme for this year, 'I am Generation Equality: Realising Women's Rights', the students, staff, and faculty of CVV came together to celebrate all the women around them who are each, wonderful in their own way.
The programme that unfolded over two days commenced with an open lecture on ‘Women in Ramayana’ on 5th March, by Dr. Gauri Mahulikar, Dean of Faculties at CVV. The talk was a part of the weekly video lecture series, Open Learning for All (OLA), on Indian Knowledge Systems. This was followed by a day-long observance on 7th March, primarily organised by students of the Minor course ‘Women’s Writing in English’.
The morning bloomed with everyone sporting hand-made badges celebrating every kind of woman with words they chose to describe themselves and others around them. The words encompassed all that is attributed to a woman including happy, kind, and divine as well as perspicacious, incorrigible, and irritable.
In the afternoon, a gathering on campus was the audience to two brief talks on women’s experiences and empowerment. Dean Mahulikar narrated tales of inspiring women from pre-modern India to the present while Dr. Meenaz Kassam, Visiting Faculty at CVV, spoke on the topic 'Women's empowerment is central to the sustainable development of the society: What has this got to do with you?'. She emphasised the importance of knowing oneself and making strategic choices. An open mic followed with many, male and female alike, from various levels of the University sharing their experiences and thoughts on this special day, which they reiterated should, in fact, be celebrated every day.
The movie ‘Parched’, directed by Leena Yadav, chronicling the lives of four women in rural Rajasthan, struggling to win their share of happiness within the boundaries imposed on them, was screened. A pre-screening discussion laid the ground for the issues at stake. A more detailed post-screening debate brought out various perspectives on the injustices and inequalities faced by women. Suggestions also came up as to how the University could promote safe spaces for its stakeholders to open up about similar issues they may face.
The day ended with people leaving the room reflecting on the reality of the women we share our lives and worlds with.