Prof S Sadagopan
Director, IIIT Bangalore
On this International Women’s Day let us ponder over where we stand as a nation. We are still at a stage where women need encouragement to realize their true potential. Over the years, women-centric programs have gained attention, while the focus gradually shifted from welfare to all-round development. Within the framework of a democratic polity, our laws, development policies, plans and programs have aimed at women’s advancement in different spheres.
The policy framework injected elements in ensuring inclusivity in terms of women’s access to health, education and participation. The Indian Government’s Vishaka Guidelines was set up to establish a mechanism for a safe and secure work environment for women. Empowerment perhaps still eludes Indian women, even after several decades of planned development.
Gender disparity manifests itself in various forms, the most obvious being the trend of continuously declining female ratio in the population in the last few decades. Sociologists point out that our country has a skewed sex ratio, which is an alarming situation. I believe that the shift towards a totally safe environment for women will take several years. Let us begin this journey at the conscience or thought process level.
Women empowerment at IIITB
Women and men bring different skills and perspectives to the working environment. At IIITB we are fortunate to have a good representation of women in all sections – faculty, students and staff, and even the outsourced staff. We work in a very cohesive manner and our women-friendly atmosphere adds to the beauty of IIITB culture.
Diversity is just not a slogan; it should lead to empowerment. We in IIITB believe in such empowerment of women and we celebrate it together, and that is the beauty of our ethos and culture. I feel we are moving in the right direction and with steady progress, I believe that IIITB will truly be a place for women from all sections of society to discover and channelize their energy.
Happy Women’s Day!