‘Women must break tech barriers, join engineering’
The Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) has started a campaign to promote engineering among women students. Called ‘IAmPower’, the campaign comprises free coding workshops for women students across schools in 20 Indian cities.
“A few women opt for engineering. Among them, only a few actually take up jobs in the field. This campaign aims at showing women that pursuing a career in engineering, science and technology can be fun,” said Soumitra Chattopadhyay, events manager, TechFest 2016-17.
The IAmPower campaign has already started with workshops in five schools in Mumbai, Pune and Noida and 100 other schools have been contacted for the same.
To highlight the lucrative aspects of the stream, TechFest, will organise events such as panel discussions on ‘The use of technology to benefit to women in rural India’ and ‘The importance of women role models in science, technology and mathematics’, among other initiatives.
On the same lines, the gender issues cell of KC College in Churchgate recently conducted a two-day conference on the newer violations in women’s rights as well as newer forms of contestations. “Over the years, thanks to the persistent efforts and meaningful interventions of the women’s movement in India, there have been significant improvement in women’s quality of life, laws and rights, yet issues of severe discrimination and disempowerment have not disappeared. The conference was an attempt to understand this paradox of contemporary changes in women’s rights and the reassertion of multiple patriarchies in new forms’ said Leena Pujari, associate professor and head of department of sociology, KC College
Organised jointly with Akshara Foundation, a city-based non-governmental organisation (NGO), the seminar witnessed the participation of academicians, activists, research scholars, lawyers as well as journalists. Students from various institutes across the city also took part in the seminar. “Everyone delved into topics that the feminist movement of India failed to address. The aim was to address these loopholes,” said Pujari.
At a seminar by College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan in Churchgate on women rights, students said that reservation for women across public modes of transport was abysmal. Avkash Jadhav, a professor at St Xavier’s College, Dhobi Talao, who was one of the speakers at the event, said, in 2013, students of St Xavier’s College had conducted a survey that looked into problems faced by women while commuting in Mumbai. “Many women complained about being harassed by eve teasers on trains and feeling unsafe while travelling in other modes of public transport. Women need to claim their rights to basic resources at present. It’s time for the authorities to wake up to these issues,” said Jadhav.