We believe in gender equality, gender sensitization, abolishment of gender-based violence! This was the motive behind supporting the short film competition based on the theme ‘Gender issues with the focus on Girl Child’ held by the Faculty of Journalism and Communication (FJC) and The Women’s Studies Research Center (WSRC) of The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara, Gujarat. This was the International Women’s Day event that got much attention from youth, who participated in the short film competition. Newer concepts on gender violence in the context of ‘Save Girl Child’ subject came in front with beautiful presentation, performers, sound and social messages. Features like, late girl child come into existence, let her grow in the outer world, how girls support their parents, how in-laws are against having a girl-child etc. were very much the part of the short films. Media can have multiple dimensions to portray a women but when it comes to demonstrating the issues faced by women, it then becomes an art as it certainly needs a direct connect with audiences.
“Women should not be marginalized but should be respected as our existence is because of a woman. What really matters is what place we provide to women in our patriarchy”, said one of the participants of the short film competition.
Shagufa Kapadia, Director of WSRC says “Gender sensitization is a complex process as attitudes toward gender are deeply ingrained in culture and individual identity. Change in gender attitudes is immensely challenging, yet a goal which we must pursue relentlessly. While classroom discussion surely helps in bringing such issues to the forefront, the process of critical reflection and questioning of received perspectives – an inevitable facet of transformation in attitudes – requires active “hands-on” engagement with the subject. Activities such as making films offer an effective mode for change as creating a film involves deliberate and critical reflection. When you create a film you ponder over the concept and its different element and in the process you cogitate on the subject and offer the way forward”.
The Moments of pride …
Says Swati J., owner of Women Planet “Our try is not to overpower anyone but we just want to convey the message that we are women, we are humans and we want people to make us feel equal. Why we need to prove ourselves to be eligible to have an equal identity? Once, a guy asked me, why are you running Women Planet and not a Men Planet? My answer to that is “Ask yourself.” the time, the circumstances. When there is a need, we should stand up to be the change, make the change. Here is a small try of Women Planet along with WSRC and FJC to change the minds, to spread the awareness… Are you with us??”
“The curriculum of the Masters’ programme in Journalism and Mass Communication offered in our Faculty emphasizes exposure and interface for students to issues of social and civic significance so that they become responsible and proactive media practitioners. Films make for an effective medium to create and spread awareness about a theme as important and sensitive as that of saving the girl child. And hence, this was an effort of getting students from different Faculties and others from society too, to come on board with us and be part of the endeavor. The response to the short films making contest was very heartening, and the spirit that permeated during the event could well be representative of a healthier and fair societal ambience that may hopefully come to be in the near future”, said Niti Chopra, Officiating Dean, The Faculty of Journalism and Communication, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda.
Educate, Empower and Entertain are not just three words that Women Planet has adopted but the whole concept of women uplift revolves around it! Let’s make a Change! Let’s be the Change!