Udupi: Director of Centre for Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, Mysore University, Muzzaffer Assadi, said on Saturday that women were now asserting their identities in the country.
He was speaking at a State-level seminar on “Changing identities of women in India”, organised by the Department of Women Studies, Milagres College, and the Mangalore University Political Science Teachers’ Association (MUPSTA), here.
Dr. Assadi said that even land reforms in the country were gender-biased. Women, particularly in the Dalit and other backward communities, were suffering from oppression. As per the changes made in the Forest Act, which deals with the rights of tribal people in forest areas, the right to property should be shared equally among men and women. Women were not decision markers in many sectors. “When women become a liberal force, it will help the country in its progress,” he said. Scholar Rathi Rao said that women such as Arundhati Roy, Vandana Shiva, Medha Patkar, and Shabana Azmi had voiced their concerns about oppression of women in different sectors. Although the country had enacted laws such as the Dowry Prohibition Act and Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, their implementation was not effective. While the conservatism of the right wing parties was a matter of concern, the Left parties too had not taken up women’s cause as seriously as they should have, she said. President of MUPSTA Nery Cornelio welcomed the gathering. Principal of Milagres College Fred Mascarenhas presided over the inaugural function. Director of the Centre of Women’s Studies, Mangalore University, Kishori Nayakn and general secretary of MUPSTA M.N. Chennakrishnaiah were present.