“Being an ambitious woman is a terrible combination in our country, where women are considered as weak, docile and a homely entity,” said Dr Poonam Arora, senior scientist at CSIR National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi, during a panel discussion on International Woman’s Day. The panel was organised by Indian Medical Association (IMA), in association with Chaitanya Hospital at IMA complex in Sector 35, Saturday.
An impressive panel of young women from diverse fields spoke about their personal motivations and struggles and how they achieved their goals despite facing many obstacles. Dr Poonam said, ‘’Women have immense power and with an ecosystem of support and opportunities, there is nothing that they cannot do and achieve. There is no challenge that a woman cannot overcome.”
Dr B S Chavan, Director Principal, Government Medical College and Hospital, (GMCH) , who was the chief guest on the occasion,said, “Despite significant change in the attitude of society, a woman still has to work very hard and put in a bold front to live with dignity. Gender discrimination at home and work place is still rampant.”
He said jobs have given women more financial power and independence but they still don’t receive adequate appreciation at home. “Let us all inspire the women around us so that they have equal access to education, health, wealth, entertainment and employment. Let us prepare ourselves to be led by women as today’s leadership is largely male-dominated,” he said. A demonstration on self-defense was carried out by police personnel.
Poonam, an International para table tennis player, shared her life’s tough experiences. She said, “I was inflicted by polio at the age of 10 and due to disability, I faced a lot of problems but I never gave up. I never played table tennis until I got married. My husband is my coach. After watching him, I picked up tennis and with his motivation, I became the first para table tennis player to win a gold in Para Thailand Open 2011.”
Kanupriya. Panjab University Campus Student’s Council president, said,’’We fought against the Brahmanical patriarchy that imposed hostel curfew. I am extremely happy for initiatives like these.’’
“For any country’s development, development of women is very important . Being a woman, we have to play different roles. We have immense power and can fight with solidarity against social evils,” said Rajinder Kaur Dhindsa, who works for an NGO.