Mangalore: As a precursor to the national women’s conference organised by National Women’s Front (NWF) in Coimbatore next month, a national publicity campaign was inaugurated at a programme here on Friday.
Delivering the keynote address on the occasion, NWF national committee member Shahida Tasneem said that despite having been worshipped over centuries and elevated to the level of sainthood, women still did not receive the dignity and respect they deserve. While governments and political parties bring in new schemes for empowerment of women, they are not truly empowered. Even despite best efforts, women are still subjected to atrocities at the hands of others. The development that has taken place in the country is superficial and does not address the needs of underprivileged women, she said. She lamented the lack of importance placed on higher education of women even in the 21st century. India lags behind Pakistan and even Nepal in terms of women’s representation in politics. It is a stifling atmosphere for women in the country and no serious efforts are made in this direction. In an urban-centric country, there are no basic helath care facilities for women in rural areas. Such is the situation of women in the country, she said, stressing on the need for women to empower themselves.
In her inaugural address, NWF national president Shahida Aslam said that modernisation of the age-old atrocities on women had taken place. The society continues to look at women as commodities meant to be used. Although sexual crimes on women are on the rise, legalizing prostitution is not a solution to prevent them from occurring. We should realise that young girls are forcibly pushed into the flesh trade. Instead of legalizing prostitution, what should be controlled are sale and distributed of intoxicating substances. There is a need for a social revolution to change the mindset of the society, she said, adding that awareness should be brought in this regard through the media. She said that the role of women was also significant in preventing crimes against women. “We should bring a change in ourselves and try to improve our character,” she pointed.
Poet and columnist Jyothi Guruprasad, Beary Sahitya Academy member Zohra Abbas, Mumtaz Pakkladka of Asare Women’s Foundation, Mangalore, NWF Kerala state president Ramla Teacher and Tamil Nadu state president Raziya spoke on the occasion.
NWF Karnataka state president Fathima Naseema delivered the presidential address on the occasion. Corraine Rasquinha was felicitated for her service towards humanity, Maryam Ismail was felicitated for her contribution in the field of literature and Sameera and Fouzia were felicitated for their achievements in the education sphere.