'Women's Day makes no sense'

Reserving something for women means rest will be out of their bounds: Shashi Deshpande

conversation: Halathi Somashekar makes a point to Padmashri Awardee writer Shashi Deshpande, as Ratna Somashekhar looks on, in Mysore on Tuesday. Dh photo

Her critical comments were at a day-long seminar organised on the occasion of 100th International Women’s Day organised by Kendriya Sahitya Academy and Vismaya Prakashana, here on Tuesday.

Clarifying her stand, she said that she doesn’t approve of being ‘given’ a platform. Shashi Deshpande said that she would prefer ‘taking’ the platform owing to her own merits.  

“When you reserve a certain space for women, the rest is certain to be out of their bounds,” she added. While observing that changes have taken place due to movements that were launched in support of women, she said that at present, women’s issues are more visible.

Furthermore, their problems are addressed with sensitivity, she mentioned. Insisting that the issue of gender was a serious one, Shashi Deshpande said that women have turned the clocks around by making their mark felt in various fields including the army and banking institutions.

The IT revolution wouldn’t have been possible without the involvement of women engineers, she said.

She pointed out, “Four national parties are headed by women; our President is a woman, but yet harassment continues... Many changes are purely cosmetic, there is still a huge gap of those who have benefited from the change.”

While terming Marxism, Democracy and Women’s Movement as major events that changed the shape of the world, she said that the latter movement was not as visible as the other two, because men were not included.

Pointing out that changes are inevitable, she said that nuclear families, consumerism and advent of contraception have given women the freedom, that was never before given to her.

Prof N Manu Chakravarthi and others were present.

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