Aligarh: An international webinar on ‘Women Breaking the Stereotypes: Journey as an Ace Against All Odds’ organised to mark the centenary year celebrations of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) at the Begum Sultan Jahan (BSJ) Hall highlighted the need for eradication of cultural expectations and gender stereotypes, which often prevent girls and women from reaching their full potential.
The webinar was a part of the ‘SAFAR’ series and AMU ‘Mentor Her’ initiative to provide female AMU students with the opportunities for discussing and exploring a career with the United Nations. Twelve students were selected for the first phase of the programme.
Key speaker, AMU alumna, Dr Farah Usmani (Director Rank-1 at the UNFP) urged the female students to make wise career decisions without paying any heed to their gender.
“Attitude towards life, confidence and the zeal to give back to the society are necessary and women should not let the prevalent gender biasness determine their life paths,” she said.
Dr Farah dwelled upon the necessity of proper academic training and the relevance of field work in identifying the root causes for suggesting solutions in research and policy making, highlighting the importance of quality over quantity.
She shared insights of her journey from a medical student at AMU to attending the London School of Economics and finally landing in a job with the United Nations.
Dr Farah stressed that parents must empower their children by being gender neutral and fostering independent decision, since an early age.
Renowned paediatrician, Dr Hameeda Tariq said that she remembers Dr Farah as a strong headed, hard-working MBBS student, who was filled with determination to excel.
She stressed the need to nurture a strong peer group and to continuously uplift others while thriving for excellence.
Prof Tamkin Rabbani (Chairperson, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology) moderated the session, while Dr Saira Mehnaz (Provost, BSJ Hall) delivered the welcome address.
Zakia Khan convened the event and Harim Fatima was the Rapporteur.
Samreen Ahmed extended the vote of thanks.