Mallika Sarabhai : Gender equality long-term war not a battle

Friday, Nov 13, 2015,15:23 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Thiruvanthapuram |Achieving gender equality in the country, should be seen as a long-time war and not a one-time battle, noted dancer and activist Mallika Sarabhai has said. We must see this as long-term war, not a battle.

Unless our government sees the insensitivities and violence against women as a plague, or as seriously as the spread of a killing infection and responds accordingly, half the population will continue to live in fear, and the nation will remain backward, no matter what its GDP is, Sarabhai said.

She was here to participate in the inaugural session of the three-day first International Conference on Gender Equality (ICGE) that began at Kovalam yesterday. Alleging that little was being done on a macro-level to address the issue of misogyny, she said, the conference tries to mainstream these issues.

The dancer and social activist quoted a recent global report to emphasise the paramount importance of gender equality to the growth of the country. According to recent McKinsey global report, if the economic participation of women in India went up to a natural 50 per cent of all women in the working age, the GDP would rise by 37 per cent, she said.

Sarabhai also delivered a power-packed solo dance recital on the inaugural evening. From the goddess the earth, plants, animals and human beings were made. We in turn made more goddesses for our convenience and conveniently forgot about them, the dancer said in her address at the conference.

Through her performance titled ‘In Search of a Goddess’, the danseuse attempted to trace the path of inequality of women through the ages using the epic of Mahabharata as a template. It was the men who told history not women, it was men who wrote the Mahabharata not women, it is men and not women who decided social norms, she said.