Various programmes mark the day

How safe are women when they travel alone? This question held the centre-stage at a public debate held in connection with International Women's Day on Friday in the city.

Inaugurating the function organised by the Kerala Sthree Vedi, T.N. Seema, MP, said that society was still divided on the basis of gender. “Women have for long raised questions against gender-based discrimination. Sadly, we are still raising questions and fighting for our rights,” she said.

According to her, though there are many laws for the welfare of women, none tackles their problems effectively. Citing the example of Soumya, who was pushed out of a moving train, raped, and killed in February last year, she said that women were now less confident about travelling in trains.

Security

“There is provision for providing security to passengers by deploying the Railway Protection Force. Yet, the authorities seem disinterested,” she added.

Mahila Congress State president Bindu Krishna said a change could be brought forth only if awareness was created at the family-level. Youth Congress State Secretary Vinod Krishna also said that such acts of violence were on the rise because of the disappearing family values in today's society.

In another event held in connection with Women's Day, organised by the Social Service Society, Thiruvananthapuram, speakers stressed the need for making women feel secure. A rally was held in the city to propagate this year's theme, ‘Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures.'

In the celebrations organised by the Centre for Distant Education, University of Kerala, women achievers were honoured. Shashi Tharoor, MP, was present.

Talk sessions and seminars were organised by institutions such as Gandhian Vanitha Vedi, and Women's Academic Centre. A quiz for women was held at the ‘Surakshaayanam 2012,' a workshop and exhibition on disaster risk reduction.

Contribution to society

Special Correspondent writes: In an attempt to highlight the contribution of women to society, UST Global, a Technopark-based company, celebrated International Women's Day on Thursday. The event started with an Expo, followed by a keynote address by Shobha Koshy, Post Master General of Kerala. A panel discussion on ‘Women and media' was organised. The celebration was an initiative of UST Global and the activities were planned by NowU (Network of Women Ussociates).