Gender inequality hogs Goa dialogue

| | Panjim

The issue of gender equality came up for intense discussion at the third edition of ‘Difficult Dialogue’, a three-day event  recently held in Goa.

From filmmakers Prakash Jha and Ketan Mehta to actress Nandita Das, transgender rights activist Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, LGBT rights activist Ashok Row Kavi, women’s rights activist Vrinda Grover, feminist publishers Urvashi Butalia and Ritu Menon, eminent politicians Arif M Khan, Salman Khurshid and Renuka Chowdhury, and Maharashtra’s first woman IPS officer Meeran Chaddha Borwankar, all shared their views at the event.

UK politician and teacher Baroness Shreela Flather and actress Gabriella Wright provided insightful international perspectives to gender inequality issues in the western world.

This year, the forum was held in partnership with University College London (UCL), Goa University (GU), the International Centre Goa (ICG) and Brookings India (BI). Renowned academic experts from UCL such as Professor Sarah Hawkes who leads the UCL Centre for Global Health and Gender, Professor of Global Health David Osrin of UCL, Professor of Child and Family Policy Margaret O’Brien of UCL, and Professor of Global Health and Philosophy Sridhar Venkatapuram of King’s College London shared their vision for gender equality at the conference

Difficult Dialogues is an annual conference held in Goa that tackles the most vital issues facing India and South Asia.Through engaging panel discussions, the speakers grappled with the crucial issue of how Indian gender constructs affected the fundamental aspects of daily lives and citizenship.

Topical issues like #MeToo movement, women in politics, science and technology, masculinity and violence, women and the law to trafficking, transforming gender norms and fatherhood & families came for intense debate and discussion at the event.

On the occasion, Goa University showcased its Gender Champions ( two students and faculty member from each college)  as part of the pioneering step to drive home the message of gendera erquality among the students.

Prakash Jha dwealth at length to explain why woman casts are characterrised in [particular way in akmovie, mainly asa result of the doimination of the mal in the film production. Other speakersuch as Salman Khurshid slammed certain asp[ectys opf the triple talaq bill, saying it would not help the diovrocd owemn if the husbvand is sent to jail.

Former union minister Arif Mohammad Khan delivered a talk on ‘Why has Gender Equality Not Been Achieved Despite Our Constitutional Framework’. ‘ Commenting at the successful conclusion of the three-day summit, Surina Narula, founder of Difficult Dialogues said, “Delivering gender equality for everyone’s benefit is a key agenda for India and for the South Asian region as a whole. I am delighted at the range and quality of the discussions that we had on several issues related to gender equality, and the fact that we were able to identify the problem areas and recommend possible solutions. “ She said the  policy recommendations made by speakers would be submitted it to  authorities and policy makers.

Prof. Sarah Hawkes academic lead of University College London added, “Disruptive thinking about difficult issues is in the DNA of UCL. We are immensely grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in and observe dialogues both difficult and demanding on what gender means to us all. “Several suggestions and recommendations were made at Difficult Dialogues 2018: The panel on Portrayal of Gender in Cinema recommended the need to look at characters from a gender secular frame.

Education of Muslim women was identified as a dire need in the Gender Inequalities in Indian Muslims panel. Policy recommendations included strengthening the legal framework and government schemes to protect the rights of Indian Muslim women.

The panel on Trafficking and Vulnerability recommended the shift from shelter-based rehabilitation to an economic rehabilitation model which ensures economic empowerment to the people who have been sexually exploited and trafficked. It was highlighted that significant trafficking happens during migration hence the need of the hour is also to set up safe migration centres.



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