Empowering womenfolk during crisis and conflict vital, say speakers
Women speakers on Sunday expressed concern about the widespread violence and discrimination to which womenfolk in conflict-ridden Kashmir are subjected.
Speaking at a programme ‘Baatein Aman Ki’— on the theme of ' Increasing Violence against Women in the Society' at Institute of Hotel Management here, the speakers said that the ongoing conflict has also impacted the lives of womenfolk in Kashmir. They said women need to own their history by empowering themselves with education and begin the reformation of society. The speakers while urging the stakeholders to come forward and held women to achieve their respected spaces in the society. They said that empowering women during crisis and conflict was vital.
The programme was organsied by ANHAD, Kashmir Women’s Collective, ELFA International, Convex Infra, and Mehboob Arts.
Speakers said: “Regarding women, there are many taboos in society and women have to break them with the patience, courage, and bravery.”
On the occasion, Assistant Professor, Department of Women Studies, University of Kashmir, Dr Shazia Malik, said that womenfolk need to own their history by empowering themselves with education and begin to revolutionize the whole society.
Malik said during past few decades, there has been a tremendous increase in domestic violence incidents in the Kashmir. She said there is shifting the perceptions of gender identities in the region.
“There is the role of women in preserving community identities, the honour of the community lies in the bodies of women, and entire burden falls on womenfolk,” Malik said.
She said due to huge militarization, families in Kashmir have been destructed and entire society has moved to insecure and vulnerable situations where women get confined to their homes.
Another speaker, Farah Zaidi said that women have to take charge and empower themselves and they don’t wait for someone else to do it for them. They have a can-do mindset and habits that move them forward even in the face of adversity, she said.
A team of 20 social activists from all across India were also present on the occasion, who are Kashmir visit from 21-24 September.
On the occasion, Dr. Kamaljeet Kaur, a member of National Federation of India Women (NFIW), said women do not need to empower themselves but have to keep courage and bravery to achieve their dreams. She said in order to spread the message of love, peace and justice they are trying to reach every corner of India. Kour said as a part of a national caravan led by women activists, Batein Aman Ki, many events will be held in different districts of the state.
She called upon young women to take responsibility and think for the betterment of the society. "Youth is the future of every society and young women must break the age-long traditions of patriarchy and establish a new identity," she said. Assistant Professor, Department of English, Government Degree College, Baramulla of Dr. Asiya Zahoor was also screened on the occasion. The documentary reflected the miseries of children in conflict and how conflict is affecting their daily lives. Among others, Advocate Manju Shah, Dr. Mubeena Ramzan, Anushree (transgender activist from Tamil Nadu also spoke on the occasion. The vote of thanks was presented by ‘Aman Ki Batein’ coordinator Nisha Aggarwal. The event was coordinated by Mantasha Binti Rashid and Amreen Rashid Shawl.