By Dr Saba Taj
Kolkata, Nov. 21: The Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) Women’s Wing West Bengal organized a women’s meet at ICCR, Rabindra Nath Tagore Centre here recently to discuss women’s issues and problems in the Indian society. The theme of this conference was the present scenario of Indian women.
The purpose of this meet was to reflect the condition of women, adolescent girls and young girls in all their diversity in the Indian society. This aimed to provide an opportunity for the cadre to renew their commitments to making gender equality and women empowerment a reality.
The problems of women such as gender discrimination, eve teasing, harassment, rape, dowry, witchcraft, violence against women (domestic and social), and unequal pay continue to be major issues in the Indian society. Female foeticide and infanticide, particularly in rural areas, remain a significant concern. Women’s safety and security are also a significant issue, with many incidents of sexual harassment and assault reported each year.
Many intellectual women from different sectors of society such as professors, teachers, lawyers, doctors and representatives of NGOs participated in the program. Some of the renowned speakers were Dr. Shoma Choudhry, Professor of Sociology, St. Xaviers College; Dr Indrani Basu, resource person at Govt. Teachers Training Program; Dr Usha Mallick, Head of the Department of Nursing Aliah University Kolkata; Dr Farhat Bano, Dean St. Xaviers College Kolkata; Dr Ghazala Yasmin, Head of the Department of Mass Communication, Aliah University Kolkata; Mrs. Papia Nag, Headmistress Shakhawat Memorial Govt Girls High School Kolkata; Ms Barnali Mukarjee, a social activist; Mrs Shabuhi Azia, President All Bengal Muslim Women Association, Mrs Noorjahan Shakil, President All India Muslim Personal Law; Ms Arshia Ahmed, Women entrepreneur, and many more intellectual women participated in the round table discussion.
Mrs Arefa Parveen, JIH Asst. Secretary and Mrs Fakhira Ateeq, JIH National Executive Committee member were Chief Guests of this program. All speakers highlighted the various problems and their supposed solution for women in India. They spoke about Sati pratha, Devadasi pratha, dowry death, marital rape, gender inequality, women security, violence against women and policies of the government and their pros and cons.
They also highlighted possible solutions to overcome these problems in society such as giving equal rights to women, access to education and healthcare facilities, free practice of right to choice and rights of decision making. Preservation of women right is also much needed. To stop violence against women, eve teasing, rape and trafficking, implementation of strict laws and policies are required under Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Chief guests of the program highlighted the work of JIH women’s wing, saying that they are taking a lead in reforming the situation of Indian women by various nationwide campaigns, programs, webinars and events. They are also working on ground with the people of India with the help of Sadbhavana Manch and Dharmik Jan Morcha, etc. The JIH women’s wing also launched Aura and Haadiya e-magazines for women.
Addressing these challenges, JIH women’s wing is working to improve the status of women in India. There needs to be a concerted effort from all sectors of society. The government also needs to continue to implement policies that promote women’s health, education, and economic empowerment. Through TWEET (The Women Education and Empowerment Trust), JIH is focusing education at all levels of society. Through electronic media (Aura and Haadiya) and social media, JIH is playing a role in promoting positive messages about women and combating gender stereotypes.
It is essential to recognize the achievements made so far and continue to work towards a more equitable society for women. By addressing the challenges that women in India face and promoting gender equality, we can ensure that women can fully participate in all aspects of life and contribute to the development of the country.
JIH women’s wing came forward with this idea of roundtable discussion with intellectuals and empowered women of society. It is also concerned with other social issues faced by Indian people, especially peace and justice in society that are affecting various aspects of human life. Girls Islamic Organization (GIO) also performed one street play to address the lack of education and their impact on society.
[Dr Saba Taj is PR Coordinator JIH Women’s Wing, West Bengal]