The School of Humanities of St. Xavier’s College Mapusa, Goa, held a one day State Level Interdisciplinary Seminar –‘Transcending the Glass Ceiling & Gender Stereotypes: Empowered Women in Goa’ on 28th September 2017. Ms. Nila Mohanan, IAS Officer, Collector & District Magistrate, North Goa was the Chief Guest and Adv. Norma Alvares, Padma Shri Awardee & environmental activist, was the Guest of Honour.
Ms. Mohanan in her keynote address acknowledged that inspite of all the progress women have made in different fields, the existence of glass ceiling is a fact that cannot be denied. She said it was a long way before gender equality would become a reality. Adv. Alvares urged the youth to first discover what they wish to be and then set out to achieve their heart’s desires. She pointed out that it was a glass ceiling that can be easily broken if one strongly wished to break the invisible barrier.
Other resource persons included Ms. Shabnam Shaikh, Hon. Judge, Secretary of DLSA, North Goa; Ms Verma D’Mello, fashion designer; Mrs. Hema Budge & Mrs. Diana Braganza, members of Self Help groups and Dr. Meenakshi Martins, psychiatrist, activist & actor, who was also the Chief Guest at the valedictory function.
Mrs. Budge & Mrs. Braganza described their journey through life as one full of struggles challenging gender stereotypes and emerging successful. They implored the youth to never give up. Ms. Shaikh gave insights into various legislations that strengthened gender equality and provisions made by the state to empower women.
Ms. D’Mello asked the youth to have faith in themselves and their dreams and to know that nothing is impossible. Dr. Martins enthralled the audience with anecdotes and real life incidents that were a challenge to gender equality. She also pointed out that many a time the glass ceilings we see aren’t real. We create them and they disappear when we reach beyond them.
‘Samajacho Arso’, the newsletter of the Department of Sociology was also released on this occasion. The seminar succeeded in throwing up questions on the existence of glass ceilings and gender stereotypes and the need to shatter the same.