Changing Perspectives – Introspecting Gender Equality

12 November 2015

"One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman" Simone de Beauvoir

The unequal treatment meted out to women in society at large has been an integral feature of the society, globally as well as in India since time immemorial. The manifestation of the manifold inequality that structures the existing reality of women have undoubtedly undergone changes over the years, however it still continues to hold significance in the Indian context. The secondary position occupied by women in India is a result of the patriarchal norms and customs that construct the Indian social order. Accordingly, women’s participation in the labour force has been limited within the narrow confines of this persistent social order, hindering the realization of their potentials for their economic and personal development.

In the light of the above, Sasha, a leading fair trade organization working with over thousand female artisans across eastern India has collaborated with Oxfam Magasins du monde (Belgium), CORR The Jute Works (Dhaka, Bangladesh), and Tara Projects (Delhi, India) to initiate a global campaign on Gender issues, on November 12th, 2015. The central theme of the campaign is to highlight the multiple subjective experiences of ''women at work".

The primary aim is to charter a nuanced understanding of the manifold discrimination that women are subjected to at their work places, at home and at society at large; with specific focus on female artisans and their positive relation to fair trade.
To better engage with the aforementioned central theme of the campaign two sets of panel discussions will be organized as a launch event in an attempt towards defining the scope and the relevance of such a campaign in the Indian context. Eminent personnel’s’ from different walks of society who have been active in partaking in the struggle for equal right and opportunities for women have been invited to partner with us in engaging in a meaningful dialogue around the core themes of ‘fair chances’ and ‘empowerment’. We have invited speakers to share the multiple experiences of the different segment of women they worked with/work with and in identifying the possible avenues of altering the unequal power relations operative in the economic, political, legal, socio-cultural domains. We hope to build a discourse through discussion that aims to relook at empowerment as a continual process of actualization of women’s autonomy within the ambits of a patriarchal context like ours.

- The first panel will comprise of eminent panellists from non government organizations and academia working or researching on women’s rights/issues; providing a space to bring about transformative action.

- The second panel will comprise of panellists from Media, Film, Theatre & Journalism background who are/have innovatively engaged in the struggle for equality by providing a space to unravel the many stories of different segments of women, by resorting to various art forms.