Awareness CREATION and
Capacity Building of Women
22 April 2012, B.K.S. School, Manikpur, Vasai West.
In collaboration with the Vasai-Virar Committee of the
All India Democratic Women’s Association, the Centre for
Study of Society and Secularism organized one day
community workshop on ‘Awareness Creation and Capacity
on 22 April 2012 at the B.K.S. School premises in
Manikpur, Vasai West. Stand Points of Gender Equality
was the theme for the Workshop.
Of the 40 participants of the workshop, 35 were women
and 5 men from Vasai-Virar area. The participants
comprised house-wives, working women, and social
activists etc. Mr. Riyas V.M, Programme Executive of the
CSSS facilitated and conducted the proceedings of the
Ms. Preethy Shekhar, give an introduction about the CSSS,
AIDWA and the objective and rationale behind organizing
the workshop. She also introduced the
persons. She invited Ms. Rajalakshmi to conduct the
three session of the programme. In her inaugural
address, Ms. Sugandhi Francis (Mumbai Secretary, AIDWA),
referred to the various fields of activity in the
society where gender based discrimination continues to
exist, and the public is not yet sensitised.
Adv. (Ms.) Najmassahar Asad spoke on the ‘Legal Rights
of Women’ with reference to the various forms of
physical, emotional, sexual and economic gender-based
violence that the women are subjected to. By posing
questions to the participants and noting down their
comments, she addressed their concerns in detail. Issues
such as the lack of sensitivity in the Police towards
women’s issues, their own biases, hesitation on the part
of women to lodge complaints relating to domestic
violence etc. were discussed. Special provisions in the
law for women were also explained. Participants too
shared their experiences in dealing with women’s cases.
was followed by Ms. Shobha Bagul, who addressed the
participants on ‘Women’s space in Indian Family System.’
The patriarchal structure of the Indian family system,
influence of patriarchy in other socio-political fields,
historical origin of gender discrimination etc. were the
major points discussed in the session. The resource
person briefed the views and role played by Jotiba Phule
and Dr. Ambedkar for women’s upliftment. The role of
religion, caste and other social institutions in gender
based discrimination and gender bias were discussed.
The last session of the workshop was devoted to ‘Gender
Bias in the Visual Media’ by Mr. Shrikant Bhosale.
Drawing examples from women characters depicted in
films, TV serials and advertisements, he facilitated the
discussion on how women were being stereotyped as less
equal citizens in all the media. Often people who watch
these visuals never realise the discrimination
portrayed; instead, they take these ‘roles’ for granted.
Resultantly, the feudal-patriarchal roles assigned to
women, even in a modern society get reinstated. The
resource person also explained how women’s body is
exploited in advertisements for marketing not only
cosmetic goods, but also goods which have nothing to do
concluding the deliberations of the workshop, Mr. K.K.
Prakashan explained the various issues of women in
Mumbai, which need to be taken up by social and women
activists. It may be true, he said, that by and large
women may not draw support from men in their struggle
towards gender equality because men may feel that an
equal status would minimize the level of comfort which
presently enjoy in a male dominated society. Still there
are men who strongly believe that gender equality is
essential for a just and egalitarian society, and gender
activists can always join hand with them.
one day programme was successful in that it witnessed
the total involvement of participant the till the end.
The topic of the workshop generated animated and
fruitful discussions even after the programme. Many of
the participants dispersed with a decision to study more
and get involved in women’s issues in and around them.