I remember reading African writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie who said that gender is not an easy conversation to have. It makes people uncomfortable and sometimes even irritable. Because thinking of changing the status quo is always uncomfortable. When I pondered upon this in our University’s context, it was a revelation for me. We have made comfortable and uncomfortable conversations on gender in several of our meetings. We strived hard to make it a gender-equal world in REVA.
We are performing well in a lot of areas. We have a sizable percentage of women working in positions of leadership, teaching, and non-teaching, in addition to an equal or higher percentage of female students. As I always say, REVA is dedicated to being a trailblazer in gender equity. And, this in my opinion, is not a simple process. Also, the fact that Purple is the International Women's Day colour this year is purely coincidental. The colour purple stands for honour and justice. What could be more appropriate than a colour that calls for the much-needed respect and honour for women?
Our female staff do amazing work. It is not limited to seminars and workshops or donning top positions in various sectors, but also breaking the glass ceilings. I think this is the best time to celebrate their achievements. I look forward to our female staff for inspiration that helps us do better on gender fairness and smashing patriarchy.
To make this happen, we adopted United Nations SDG 5 in various activities in REVA. This included everything from developing curricula to planning various gender-sensitive activities. We made sure that gender mainstreaming was promoted, whether it was through the Pancavaktram Dance Production by the School of Performing Arts, the Nyaya Darshana by the School of Legal Studies, Samaavesha by the School of Arts & Humanities, or Narishakti as part of Republic Day. We also hope to provide a platform for further advancement in gender equity in the future.
I see a bigger and better opportunity for us in the coming years. It’s a win-win situation. In order to position ourselves as a leader among educational institutions that rejects bias and embraces gender equity as a way of life, we should work towards improving the gender ratio. As Michelle Obama rightly said, there’s no limit to what women can accomplish. Hence, I put the call out for everyone- not just females, but males as well to help us see a difference in all we do – a shift that inspires us to take on bigger and better tasks and turn REVA into the best educational institution in the world.