The Women's Cell of the Government Law College, Ernakulam, has been organising a slew of activities. Ever since its inception, the cell has been hosting several events and competitions. Building internal women's networks and acknowledging gender issues on the campus are the primary objectives of this cell. Such a dedicated cell at college or school level is vital in the pursuit of social and gender justice.
In its first event of the current academic year, the cell invited artist-sisters P.S. Jaya and P.S. Jalaja who interacted with the students and explained their views on gender equality and how art could be used as a medium to express gender concerns. After their interactive session, Kerala Police conducted an exclusive self-defence class for female students of the college. Then, the cell hosted the second edition of the self-defence class, as per the request of the students on February 12, this year.
The lady representatives have been constantly striving to assure that the sanitary napkin vending machine is regularly re-filled and money collected on time. They also address any issue posed to them by the girl students of the college. They are now trying to convince the M.G. University authorities the need to grant maternity leave to the students pursuing Law Degree course. Since Law course does not have age-bar, female students of ages ranging from 21-70 study at various law colleges under the M.G. University. In between the course, some get married and become pregnant. Lack of maternity leave forces many of them to drop their courses midway. Calicut University has already sanctioned maternity leave for female students while pursuing their studies.
On February 27 , the Women's Cell organised an inter-class debate competition on the topic "Whether the Third Front can become a major front in Indian Democracy?" To ensure participation of female students in the debate, the rules demanded that every two-member team should comprise of at least one girl. The heated debates showcased the oral and argumentative skills of the girl students, who otherwise stay silent and give way for male students to express their opinions. On March 7, the cell organised a mixed tug-of-war, wherein every team comprised of 4 girls and 3 boys. This initiative was to ensure active female participation even in the field of sports. Instead of "his" or "her" spaces, the conquest is to create "their" spaces.
Women's Day celebrations were organised on March 8. A panel discussion was conducted on various perspectives of feminism. Film director Soumya Sadanandan, Advocate Smrithi Sasidharan and SFI Central Committee Member Shilpa Surendran were the panelists. Three of them talked about their perspectives and concept of gender justice in their respective work or activity spaces.
The interactive session covered questions like - Whether feminism has lost its relevance in modern society? Whether feminism is about superiority than equality? Whether various dimensions of feminism received a just approach by the feminist philosophers? etc. The students also got an opportunity to share their views with the panelists.
Thus, the cell is proving that "when women support each other, incredible things happen."
Students' Union Secretary Deborah Thambi and the lady representatives Sowmya Lakshmi and Aiswarya Ajith are spearheading the activities of the dedicated wing.