A panel discussion at New Town’s CE Block discussed the role of women in everything from sciences to marriages. The occasion was International Women’s Day, on March 8.
The event was conducted by resident Sovana Roychowdhury and featured cultural performances, besides the panel discussion by successful women of the locality. The discussion was moderated by Piyasi Lahiri and speakers talked at length about the importance of including women in professional spheres.
All acknowledged that history had been cruel to women and that they have been kept away from earning a living for themselves. “Women need to be more tech-savvy to compete in the modern scenario,” Lahiri said.
Chandana Saha, a mathematics teacher, pointed out that women have always shied away from math and science subjects. “They have never been given the chance to explore the fields of science. With the right opportunity they can soar higher than men in these fields,” she said.
There were two doctors on the panel, Chirashree Bhattacharya and Jayati Das. Bhattacharya stressed on the importance of health and specifically mentioned the pap smear test and mammography as two of the most important tests that women should undertake each year to ensure good health.
Gita Bhattacharya, a retired Sanskrit professor emphasised on love and harmony as the solution to gender discrimination in professional and domestic spheres.
The women in the audience were initially made to sit closer to the stage and the men sat at a distance but the moderator implemented one of the resolutions made at the event— that of unity — and asked the men to join the women in front and not keep themselves segregated.
The final speaker was homemaker Rina Roy. She pointed out a fallacy in the initial stages of marriage in the Indian system. “There is a certain standard that women are forced to maintain in order to impress the bridegroom and his family. This game of impressing has always been one-way and the bridegroom generally doesn’t care about the same as much as the bride and her family,” she said.
CE Block has been celebrating International Women’s Day for the past seven years. “Every year there are some new residents in the block, and they easily blend in and participate with great enthusiasm. The new residents feel at home instantly and they contribute towards making the better,” said Debjeet Chatterjee, an organiser.