An initiative towards creating gender equal spaces for sustainable tomorrow
Mahindra University, a leading multi-disciplinary University focused on innovative higher learning through industry-academia collaboration, hosted a week-long celebration to commemorate International Women’s Day. The program was planned in accordance with the University’s goal of educating future citizens for and in service of a better world. The event helped in sensitising students and faculty on the challenges and injustice women face in India and around the world.
Various activities including an essay competition on “Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow,” a debate on “Raising the Legal Age of Marriage for Women: A Step Towards Right to Equality or Just a Political Move,” were organised as part of this initiative with active participation from both students and faculty. The University also hosted ‘Blindspot,’ an interactive workshop aimed at tackling the difficult topic of casual sexism in society and gender sensitization among participants through demos and videos.
Dr Yajulu Medury, Vice-Chancellor, Mahindra University said, “Gender equity and increasing understanding of the challenges that women face has become a critical issue. Women in our country have a critical role to play in converting our economy into a $5 trillion economy, yet despite their potential, women often struggle to join the workforce and contribute to the economy. Women in our country are capable of wearing any hat, and it is now critical for all of us to ensure that they get all of the opportunities that they deserve.”
The panel discussion on ‘building gender equal spaces: from policy to practise’ was another intriguing activity held during this one-of-a-kind event. Various panellists discussed their personal journeys, the challenges that women encounter in male-dominated industries, and critically pondered on the idea of kind of policy development and strategies to be designed to correct implementation flaws in building gender-equal spaces during this panel discussion.
Apart from these engaging and influential activities, the event featured technical talks by eminent women speakers and trailblazers such as Ms Reena Dayal, CEO, Benzaiten Advisors and Founder, Quantum Ecosystem Technology Council of India, Prof. of Physics Margarida Telo Da Gama, University of Lisbon, Portugal, and Prof. of Physics Nandini Trivedi, Ohio State University, United States.
Ms. Reena Dayal, CEO of Benzaiten Advisors and Founder of the Quantum Ecosystem Technology Council of India, focused on new age technologies such as the quantum ecosystem and its future prospects in India, as well as the hurdles faced by women in technology and innovation leadership roles. Prof. Nandini Trivedi of Ohio State University USA spoke about the contemporary subjects of quantum information interspersed with her own experience of facing and overcoming difficulties as a woman scientist to pursue a research career. Prof. Margarida Telo Da Gama of the University of Lisbon in Portugal spoke about gender bias and other problems in academic leadership roles around the world.
The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day was based on UN’s narrative “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow”. Ambati Swechcha won the essay competition and received a cash prize of INR 5000, Trishul K won second prize of INR 4000, Soumya Nema and Teena Sachdeva won third prize of INR 3000. Sakshi Reddy took first place in the debate competition with a prize of INR 5000, followed by Ashray Gupta, first runners up with INR 4000 and VV Saikiran second runners up with INR 3000.