Updated at 8.00 pm on 10-10-2013

11th October, Jalandhar: A panel discussion on Women Empowerment was conducted at the ongoing IX National Youth Convention at Trinity College in Jalandhar on 9th October, 2013. Sr. Mary Varghese, National Youth Lady Animator of ICYM welcomed the Moderator and the Panelists for the session on Women Empowerment.

Rev. Sr. Edleburg, the former National Youth Lady Animator of ICYM, the moderator of the discussion thanked the students of St. Joseph’s School, Jalandhar Cant and Sacred Heart Convent School, Saibanagar for their inspiring skit on the theme ‘women empowerment.’ She said, “India is the fourth most dangerous country to live in. We hear news about the atrocities done unto women almost everyday. Hence this panel discussion on women empowerment is very relevant for all us today.” And then she invited the panelists to present their views on the theme.

Dr. Joshna Chaterjee, a former English Professor at Calcutta University also thanked the children who presented the dance skit on the theme. She said, “the dance drama the children presented on the stage spoke much of what I was planning to speak to you. Women and men are equal before God and the constitution of our Country.” Quoting the Bible about the woman got in adultery, she said, “Jesus knows sins of not only of the man but also of the women. She said “as catholic youth, you have greater role play to the society, because faith without action is a dead faith.” She also added, “We are told our country if growing. Its making progress in all aspects. But if we look at the villages, the story is different, people are begging in the streets, nothing to wear and eat. The crimes on the women are on the rise. Why? Has education taught us this? Our young need to understand our education is far beyond this. We need to ensure that violence against women does not occur. We need to stop it. Peace in the country has become something that we can’t have.”  She concluded by saying that the youth should ‘follow the wisdom that is passed on to us and respect women’ and stop the rise of crimes of against women.

Anna Vettikad, a Journalist, writer and Teacher, with India today, Outlook, New Indian Express and many national magazines, speaking on the occasion said, ‘the Delhi gang rape case is an example of extreme state the crime against women has reached in India.’ She said, Jesus is a feminist and He had the guts to point out the men that they were equally sinners. She requested the youth ‘to spread awareness of the laws that are there to protect women. Women have to stand up for their rights.
She expressed anguish over the fact that the Hindi movies that we see today portray women in a bad light and conveys wrong message about the prevailing wrong mindset of the people. She said, “We cannot sit back and relax over this. We need to raise our voices because portrayal of women in cinema contributes a lot to the rise of crimes against women. If we don’t do this, we have no business to call ourselves Christians.”

At the end the discussion was open to the delegates for questions. A few delegates asked questions very relevant to the topics. Sr. Edleburg, in her concluding note thanked the panelists for motivating the youth to respect women and suggested that we the young Catholic should stand together to spread awareness to respect women in the society.

The panel discussion concluded with Miss Asha Kindo, the National Treasurer of ICYM thanking the resource persons for the thought provoking message.

Report by : Fr Felx Antony,  DYD - Miao Diocese-Arunachal Pradesh





















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