CDS- IILM -UNGC | Commemorate International Women’s Week
Post-Event Press Release
Citizenship Development Society (CDS) in partnership with IILM Institute for Higher Education (IILM) with the support of UN Global Compact (UNGC) Network India held a conclave, titled “India Every 2 Minutes – Facing the Challenges of Gender Violence and United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) came on board with full participation and commitment towards collective actions.
The conclave brought together experts working in the field of gender justice, activists, and agents of social reform, to discuss, debate and brainstorm dimensions and challenges of Gender Violence and strategies to halt and prevent.
The opening remarks were shared by Conference Chair, Dr S.Y. Quraishi, former Chief Election Commissioner and President, Citizenship Development Society (CDS).
These were followed by an address by Mr. Kamal Singh, Executive Director of UN Global Compact (UNGC) Network India and a keynote address from Prof. Ruchira Gupta – Founder, Apne Aap Women Worldwide. She spoke of the often overlooked connection between illiteracy and crime against women and made a compelling case for an increase in allocation of government funds to address their basics needs.
The first panel discussion on “Towards a Gender just society – Dimensions and Challenges” was moderated by Dr. Bhagbanprakash, Member, Governing Council CDS and Senior advisor – IIIDEM, Election Commission of India. He skillfully toyed with the audience and challenged several stereotypes surrounding women. Joining him on the panel, Ms. Subha Rajan – Director, CII focused on the stakes of the maternal figure. They were followed by Ms. Poonam Muttreja-Executive Director, Population Foundation of India (PFI) who again challenged the power-matrix raising the slogan “Desh tab badlega, jab mard badlega. The final two speakers on the panel, Dr. Kriti Bharti – founder, Saarthi Trust and Mr. C.S. Pran, Member, Governing Council CDS and Board of Advisors – Confederation of Education Excellence (CEE) shared a practitioner’s dilemma, the ground realities of abolishing child marriage and explained how women leaders can transform political decision making.
The 2ndPanel post lunch was moderated by Ms. Navita Srikant, Member, Governing Council CDS and Member of Board – SOS Children’s Villages of India on “Working Strategies to Halt and Prevent Gender Violence”. She provoked the panel towards the need for a gender-just foreign policy and stressed that India has an opportunity to establish herself as a humane regional power. The panel further deliberated on accountability for social and economic inclusion of women and children of radicalized communities, importance of child empowerment, and sensitization through sex education. It was also acknowledged that media has become more sensitive towards encouraging speak-up culture. The list of speakers in the panel included Ms. Bidisha Pillai – Director Save The Children, India; Ms. Pillai primarily addressed the need to break away from normative category of violence, instead, probe the mindsets of young change makers within oppressed communities of rural and urban India. Ms. Rakshanda Jalil –Historian, highlighted the importance of carrying forward literature and oral histories into contemporary discourse; Ms. Neerja Chowdhury – Journalist, Columnist, Political commentator took a frank position that Gender Violence is about the attitude and change has to start early.
The conclave concluded with a short film titled “Break the silence” shared by PFI.