“Who Am I?: Problems of Expressions of Women’s Identity”

Kannur, Kerala, Nov. 28, 2020: The fourth webinar on the theme “Who Am I? Problems of Expressions of Women’s Identity” was organised by IOS Centre for Gender Studies, Calicut with a focus on women from North Kerala. The webinar was the last of the four-part series that has attracted attention from wider sections of Kerala women. This programme was organised with the help and cooperation of National Women’s Front, Kerala.

VS Sheena representing IOS in her welcome speech detailed various programmes and projects launched by the Centre.

M. Habeeba, state president of NWF, who chaired the session, observed that idea of freedom for women had been a major point of debate over the centuries. Empowerment of a society goes concurrently with the empowerment of women. S Bushra, joint convener of the series, introduced the theme and remarked that on a global scale many concepts of identity had gained currency. However dominant sections of society try to entrench their power by dividing the society on the basis of language, colour, class and ethnicity.

Dr. Binitha Thampi (asst. professor, IIT Madras) in her inaugural speech observed that modernity had changed the idea of identity of people and that had forced many to give up the traditional concepts of identity drawn from religion or caste. Rational people were in a better position to change themselves reciprocating with changes in society. In spite of the superficial empowerment seen around, women still feel angst and unhappiness about themselves and the people around them. The reasons may be the failure to really recognise their identity. 

Kabita Mukhopadhaya, the famous Bengali painter settled in Kerala, thanked the organisers for taking up a sensitive theme for discussion and recited a poem expressing the problems of identity. K. Ammini, hailing from the Adivasi community, narrated her poignant efforts to overcome the prejudices and stereotypes entertained about them by city folk.  VK Kavitha, a differently abled woman leader and public speaker said that only by recognising real abilities and talents one could succeed in one’s life.

Bahia (consultant psychologist), Nushiba (press photographer), Arati (state documentation team of Kudumbasree), Jasla Muhammad (freelance journalist and blogger), Muneesa (president of the Committee for the Rehabilitation of Endosulfan Victims), Hadia Rasheed (photographer and  reporter, Cognate News) Naznin Abdulla (principal, Iqrah Public School, Thalassery) were among the delegates. The number of delegates crossed one hundred. Shareena, president of Kannur district NWF, proposed a vote of thanks.


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