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Invest in women, Accelerate progress : GFSRD celebrates International Women's Day

In a world facing multiple crises that are putting immense pressure on communities, achieving gender equality is more vital than ever. Ensuring women’s and girls’ rights across all aspects of life is the only way to secure prosperous and just economies, and a healthy planet for future generations. (UN Women)  Every year, International Women’s Day is celebrated on 8 March 2024 and this year theme for IWD was “Invest in women: Accelerate progress”. 

Global Centre for Gender Equality (GCGE), one of the focused centres of Global Forum for Sustainable Rural Development also celebrated the day with different activities.

Eight outstanding women namely Meenakshi Datta Ghosh, IAS (Rtd.) Former Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj & Former Special Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of India;  Dr. Smily Mukta Ghosal, Corporate Business Trainer from United States of America; Marta Noemí Lescano, Founder, Fepis, Arjentina; Dr. Helen R. Sekar, Former Senior Fellow & Coordinator, National Child Labour Cell, V.V.Giri National Labour Institute, Government of India; Dr. HC Nikki de Pina, Founder, Global Peace Let’s Talk, UK; Prof. Chandrika Basu Majumder, Former Professor, Political Science & Director, Women’s Studies Centre, Tripura University; Dr. Dhriti Banerjee, Director, Zoological Survey of India,  Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change,  Government of India; Dr. Maria Teresa Pedrosa Silva Clerici, Professor, Food Science and Technology, State University of Campinas, Brazil were felicitated for lifetime achievement in the respective fields.

GFSRD-celebrates-International-Women-DayGFSRD Centre for Gender Equality also arranged an International Gender Equality Championship quiz competition where 678 participants from 19 countries participated and declared as International Gender Equality Champion. National Institute of Technology, Malang, Indonesia; ENews Time; Bolpur Manav Prem O Seva Sangstha; Rakhsita, were the knowledge partner for the event.

Another special lecture was organized in Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, Himachal Pradesh University in collaboration with Global Forum for Sustainable Rural Development (GFSRD) on 'International Women's Day' in which more than 60 students, research scholars and faculty members participated.

A four months long online international lecture series on Gender Equality (SDG5) on 9 themes namely Gender and Society,  Women’s Health and Nutrition, Gender and Politics, Gender and Development, Gender and Sustainability, Gender and Violence, Gender and Literature, Gender and Education and Women and Livelihood was organized in collaboration with Arya Vidyapeeth College, Assam. Dr. Saswati Bardoloi, Assistant professor, Royal Global University, Assam, India, Dr. Esha Sharma, Himachal Pradesh National Law University India and Mr. Alhaji Kamara from Siera Leone were selected as three best presenter from 38 speakers from 10 countries.  Smt. Chhanda Biswas, Associate Professor, Arya Vidyapeeth College, Assam was convener for the lecture series and hosted by Dr. Jayanta Choudhury, Founder, GFSRD.

Through the lecture series, GFSRD concluded that rural women face four unique set of challenges when it comes to gender equality. These are i) limited access to resources, ii) unrecognized and undervalued work, iii) limited education and skills training and iv) social norms and patriarchal systems.

GFSRD also bring out following suggestions for Improving Gender Equality in rural areas -

  • Policy and legal reforms: Governments can implement policies that guarantee women's land rights, inheritance rights, and equal access to credit and financial services.
  • Education and skills development: Programs that encourage girls' education and provide women with vocational training and business development skills can empower them economically.
  • Promoting women's leadership: Training and mentorship programs can equip women with the skills and confidence to participate in decision-making processes at the community level.
  • Challenging social norms: Awareness campaigns and community dialogues can help shift traditional gender roles and promote shared household responsibilities.
  • Technology access: Providing rural women with access to information and communication technologies can connect them to markets, resources, and educational opportunities.

By addressing these issues and implementing these suggestions, we can create a more equitable rural society where women have the same opportunities as men to thrive.

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