Each woman should have an identity of her own, says gynaecologist

Women should not stop with acquiring education, but utilise it for their own good, said Kamala Selvaraj, obstetrician and gynaecologist of G.G. Hospital, Chennai.

Speaking at the inauguration of a two-day seminar on ‘Issues and Strategies for Women’s Empowerment: Vision 2020,’ at Thiagarajar College in Madurai on Thursday, Dr. Kamala said that women should fight for their rights. “Each woman should have an identity of her own. Educated women get good jobs and pay because of which they are independent and have a high self-esteem,” she said.

Eminent women from various spheres spoke on a variety of topics to motivate the students at the seminar, organised by the Women’s Studies Centre of the college.

Srilakshmi Prasad, ADGP, Headquarters, Chennai, said, “Though women constitute nearly 50 percent of the world population and account for 66 percent of work done, they have only 10 percent share in world income. An attitudinal change alone can bring about social reforms,” she said. “Building character and enhancing values can help women find a better place in society. Women should have no fear. When they show fear on their faces or when they walk without confidence, they become vulnerable and are assaulted. They should be bold from within,” said the ADGP.

She said that most of the laws pertaining to women were abused, and the attitude that men were women’s enemy should change, she added.

Kalyani Mathivanan, Vice-Chancellor of Madurai Kamaraj University, said, “A majority of women do not complete their studies and obtain degrees because of social pressures. The cultural oppression of women results in an identity crisis. This should change.” Men should be taught to respect women from a very young age at home. This message would spread from homes to educational institutions and to society, she said.

Susheela Kaushik, co-chairperson of National Consultative Committee of the University Grants Commission, who spoke on ‘Bringing women to centre stage’ said that women were still not given the right opportunities and chances.

Kokilavane Thiyagaraja, Central government counsel from the Madras High Court, said that people should be aware of human rights.

In her presidential address, college secretary Uma Kannan said that education should reach women in rural pockets. Apart from pursuing education, women should also take up keen interest in research and development.

Rekha Pande, Head, Centre for Women’s Studies at University of Hyderabad, also spoke.

Nearly 200 papers on women’s issues were presented by participants, including men, from various colleges at the seminar.

More In: Madurai