Gender Sensitization Sessions

Day 1 Ms. Chanda Asani did sessions with management students for 3 days. First day was introducing students to accepted concepts of beauty as considered in advertisements! The constructions of gender are so strong that the idea of questioning the advertisements of fairness comes as a surprise to the young girls. They slowly acknowledge and accept the created insecurities and discrimination of beauty myths. The appearance involves not just the colour but also how women speak and dress and their education also plays a part in this process of differentiation. The hierarchy inherent in this gendered process is difficult to perceive. The management jobs are paid higher than others, is also part of this system of gendered socialization. 
Day 2 Women’s menstrual health was taken up the second day. The purity and impurity notion is a major gender issue which creates young girls to have low self esteem. This is due the fact that menstrual cycle is monthly affair and when girls get initiated to this in their impressionable adolescence. Month after month, year after year the reproductive period coincides with the productive period in women’s life. If menstruation is associated with impurity and women are not allowed to worship then they tend to feel inferior. Knowing that it is the same blood which enhances all humanity is an eye opener and provides space for change. Seeing menstruation as health criteria helps women to respect their bodies and take care of it accordingly. 
Day 3 Women’s representation in History was taken to further empowerment of girls. There are hardly any women in mainstream History. This is because there were hardly any queens and History is written about rulers! And the women who are written about in Indian History are mostly from upper caste and upper class can be counted on fingers. This again makes women feel that their work and worth is not good enough to be written about. Rewriting History has been done by Women’s Studies scholars not just from academics of History but also feminist scholars from various other disciplines. This rewriting is making women visible to all. This rewriting also speaks about how women are represented in history as per patriarchal norms. One such example is Taj Mahal a tomb of Mumtaj Mahal, third wife of Shahjahan who died giving birth to her 14th child. History does not mention about Razia Sultan’s tomb, the only queen of Delhi Sultanate, same religion but was given the kingdom in preference of her brothers as she was more capable. If antiquity is concerned as taken with Brahmanical texts considered more valid when older then Razia Sultan should have been more important in representation in History! That would be inspiration to women and men to diminish the gendered socialization