Apeejay Stya University Observes Women’s Day 2022 themed on ‘Gender Equity Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow’
Gurugram: Apeejay Stya University (ASU) recently observed International Women’s Day with the theme ‘Gender Equity Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow’ on a hybrid mode. Women representatives from different sections of society joined the celebration both physically and virtually to voice their opinions as well as concerns about issues that matter to women, along with acknowledging their indispensable roles in building up a healthy society.
The celebration was jointly celebrated by ASU’s ‘Centre for Liberal Arts’ and National Service Scheme (NSS) and witnessed thoughtful panel discussions and sessions. Dr. Pawan Sharma, former Secretary Law Commission of India (GoI) delivered a keynote speech on ‘Status of Women in India.’ This was followed by a panel discussion on ‘Working Women: Work Life Balance.’
According to the 2021 Global Gender Gap Report by World Economic Forum, India ranks 140 out of 156 countries. In 2020, it ranked 112 out of 153 countries. Highlighting such stark figures, Dr Pawan Sharma, former secretary, National Law Commission, talked about the status of women in India in her keynote address at a virtual seminar organised by Apeejay Stya University on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
The seminar was opened by Professor Vimala Veeraraghavan, Dean Academics, and Emeritus Professor, Apeejay Stya University, who urged the need to “break the mindset regarding women”, dispel stereotypes and prevent discrimination to promote a more inclusive society. “Women are equally responsible for improving upon their status and working shoulder-to-shoulder with men,” she emphasised.
In the inaugural address, Professor Raj S Dhankar, Vice Chancellor, Apeejay Stya University, said: “Gender Equality is a great leveller and would certainly contribute to peace and harmony. It has been proved time and again that women have a higher degree of compassion, sense of purpose, commitment, and sacrifice. When you put all these traits together, it makes for a better leader.”
At the core of gender inequality, however, lies unequal access to resources and opportunities. Corroborating her argument, Dr Sharma shared ample data to show how women lack opportunities for the cultivation of their abilities. Lack of access to adequate healthcare facilities, nourishment, education, etc, are some of the major obstacles that women face.
Some important government schemes have also been formulated for the protection and upliftment of women, she said. “Women don’t have to be aggressive; they have to be assertive. We have to keep focusing on women solidarity. Take responsibility for your own upliftment and be confident. Establish your autonomy in the family and society,” Dr Sharma added.
A panel discussion was held as part of the seminar on the topic ‘Working Women: Work-life balance’. The moderator for the session, Professor Sanjay Ahirwal, Dean, School of Journalism and Mass, Communication, ASU, said, “Women have to disrupt society to bring change… Work-life balance is an equilibrium state. The actual term first appeared in the United Kingdom in the 1980s. Studies show that more than 95 per cent of India’s working women are informal workers with no social protection. India’s female labour participation is lowest in BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) countries.”
The panellists for the session included Dr Meera Shanker, Director, SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai, Prof Suhas Shetgovekar, Department of Psychology, IGNOU, Ms Anjana Nath, CPO, Apeejay Education Society, Dr Anupama Diwan, Dean, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, ASU and Dr S K Roy, Dean, School of Management Sciences, ASU.
Dr Roy said, “No society can be uplifted without empowering women. I have witnessed myself that women are better decision-makers. Involving women in day-to-day operations is crucial. It is the responsibility of not just individuals but employers to help women achieve work-life balance.”
Dr Shanker attributed the gradual improvement in women’s conditions to their determination and courage, education and increasing family support. “If they are not getting their dues, they will not just sit quietly. Women are not taken seriously most of the time; they are taken for granted not by bosses but by colleagues is what I have found from research. This becomes quite a frustrating situation for women. Despite hindrances, they are coming ahead but we have to change society as a whole.
Prof Shetgovekar added, “Families are encouraging. Yet society has certain expectations as far as working women are concerned in terms of handling their familial and work responsibilities. This perspective towards working women needs to change.”
Professor Diwan also spoke about how women are no less capable than men and are achieving success in their respective fields.
Ms Nath said, “Work-life balance is more about responsibility vs life balance. When I am not working, I am actually working for my family. I am fulfilling responsibilities everywhere. How you prioritise is what is going to make a difference. We want to be treated, judged and assessed for what we are. We should appreciate, leverage our ecosystem and use whatever we have to build our competence.”
Besides, ASU felicitated three women from adjoining villages including village people’s representative, Anganwadi and Asha Karmi workers for the wonderful community service. The University also felicitated five women workers who maintain cleanliness and happiness at the university campus.
The seminar ended with a Vote of Thanks by Prof Varuna Tyagi, Deputy Dean Academics and Deputy Registrar(A), Apeejay Stya University.
About Apeejay Stya University: Apeejay Stya University is a UGC recognized university, established by the Apeejay Stya Education Foundation, an initiative of the Apeejay Stya and Svran Group led by Mrs. Sushma Paul Berlia, a leading entrepreneur and educationist. Carrying forth the Apeejay Stya legacy of over 50 years of excellence in education – ASU strives to extend an inter-disciplinary learning experience to its students. The University endeavors to enhance students’ analytical skills by including research from the very first year of the Bachelor’s programme, supported by state-of-the-art infrastructure. At ASU, students can also explore varied domains like Management Sciences, Design & Visual Arts, Engineering & Technology, Education, Biosciences, Legal Studies, Journalism & Mass-Communication, and Pharmaceutical Sciences through experiential learning. This widens their horizon and inculcates a holistic approach leading to innovation and solutions to real-world problems.