Noted women speakers have advocated that equal is not enough for them, but they need justice, equity, access and dignity as well. They were addressing a national webinar hosted by Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) Women’s Wing on the eve of Women’s Day.
Delivering introductory comments, JIH Women’s Wing Secretary Mrs. Atiya Siddiqua argued about the need to go beyond equality and towards a paradigm of justice.
The eminent women speakers including Professor Poornima Pattanshetty; Educationalist, Ms. Noor Mahvish; Law Student, Ms. Jaya Dwivedi; Social Activist, Dr Sufiya Fatima; member of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and Clinical Psychologist, Dr A Ramlath; Psychologist, Ms. Nisha Siddhu, NFIW discussed questions like ‘is equality the limit and do women need more?’
The discussion revolved around both material questions of dignified existence for women and the more complicated questions of concepts such as equality, equity, access and dignity.
Young speakers gave emotional testimonies on how the difference between boys and girls is established at a very young age in families and how femininity itself becomes an insult in colloquial conversations, to more data and fact-based presentations on the gender gap and other forms of inequalities.
Speakers from the field of social activism established how difficult a journey it has been to articulate injustice for women from the ground up. One common thread that ran between all speakers was to recognise that women face extraordinary challenges as well as have different bodily, mental, emotional and social needs and the importance of not glossing over this. The legal aspects were also touched by the speakers.
Summing up the different speakers’ opinions, JIH Women’s Wing Secretary Mrs. Rahamathunnissa also established the falsity of the statement ‘can women do it all?’ and instead argued that in many things, women are doing things that even men cannot do. She contended that their competition was not with men since the Creator made them unique in their form and needs. However, she admitted that the struggle to prove themselves and to seek acceptance was a double burden for women. She highlighted that the need to continue education from cradle to grave for all humans, irrespective of gender.
Welcome address was given by Ms. Nazrana Darvesh while the programme was moderated by Ms. Fakhira Tabassum and Ms. Syeda Iqra Rizvi.