"it's not the system which is the problem, it's our mindseT."- Dr. payal mago
an exclusive interview with prasiddhi pandey
on gender sensitization and equality
PRINCIPAL, Shaheed rajguru college of applied sciences for women
CONDUCTED ON 6/4/2017
Published on 10/4/2017
PRASIDDHI: Gender Sensitisation is basically the change of a pre-existing perception by raising awareness towards all kinds of gender equality concerns. Considering this fact, how do you think in what ways can Gender Equality be promoted in workplaces as well as in a educational forum?
DR. MAGO: Gender Equality, in particular cannot be promoted by one or two ways and that is also
not what we are looking for. One cannot promote gender equality at one place in particular since the rest of the places will fall off. We need to promote it everywhere in all aspects of life and in all spheres of the society. Right from the very birth of a child, this concept must be there and
when the child starts going to school, he/she should be inculcated with this quality. If within the family,in the school or in the society, the concept is missing then we cannot achieve this goal. So it is the thing or sometimes like you say, “Ok the person has not studied till this moment now in the next class he will study the topic”, a person or a student can catch up, but in the case of Gender Equality if we miss one thing, we can’t catch up and if one person misses the thing then, naturally, it is going to affect the others. So everyone must be aware and taught about Gender Sensitization and Gender Equality.
PRASIDDHI: We are often told by some of the professionals and recruiters that a particular post or a job can be assigned only to a male candidate or a female candidate. What’s your take on this?
DR. MAGO: See if you talk about India, our Constitution states the right that there is Equality in every aspect .The constitution does not categorise avenues and things for men and women separately . But in practice we do so many things, otherwise, in educational system it is not promoting that particular topic or aspect is for girls and girls should not go in a co-ed. schools and girls should not go for Engineering. This is automatically inculcated in our society. There is a very less percentage of girls in engineering colleges and somehow even in the case of medicine. If you see the senior doctors, cardiologist, surgeons, orthopedists, most of them are all males. So it is not the education system which is pushing it, it is our societal mindset which is pushing women to the so called gender specific professions. They are pushing women mostly into the teaching field. Our constitution gives us the complete right but on the other hand if you see the western countries, even in USA in 90's the women and the men applied for the same job they were paid differently. That was never the case in India except for the informal sector where the woman is either doing the labour job or something like that. So, contractors do pay the men differently and the women differently. But not in our legal system, not in our governmental system, we never had such kind of a thing but in western countries yes it was there. They were paid differently so they had to fight . They had to actually even fight for the right to vote also. In western countries they had to, we may never have had to fight for the right to vote . We in some or the other cases were bestowed . In our educational system there is no problem, in our constitutional system there is no problem. The problem is with our societal mindset.
PRASIDDHI: In our Society, we are often expected to behave in a certain manner. Like for instance if there is a male who is expressing his sorrow publicly, he is often told asked the reason by expressing the fact that he is crying like a girl and girls are told by their own family members a list of do’s and dont’s for the very basic living style. So do you think such notions should exist even in 21st century?
DR. MAGO: See, there are certain things where these such notions should exist but not the examples which you have given. Males have a different type of attitude. I don't want to say but the females have special needs. In all walks of life, at all times of life, a woman has special needs and for those needs she is treated differently and she should be treated differently . I'm not discriminating, but, they are treated differently and at certain points of time they need much more care than a male does so in that way it is different, but, telling her that “You are a woman so you should talk sweetly and you should talk politely, you should walk politely and you are a male so you can do anything”, that is actually wrong but at certain points of time definitely women require a different kind of environment and a man requires a different environment. They can be able to survive all kinds of situations but women definitely require a different kind of environment.
PRASIDDHI: We talk about “Equality For All” but at the same point of time we ask for Special Rights, Special Reservations For Women. Turns out this is a complete paradox. Do you feel this is just?
DR. MAGO: Yes, absolutely this is just. See , for ages together if we talk of the Ancient India we always say the woman was empowered , she had all the rights but in the medieval period there was a point where our society's mindset had changed because of the Mughal period and other invasions. So at that time women had to be put under pressure for their security, for the system which was going on in the era. So for long time they were being oppressed . If they are being oppressed and suddenly you say that no everyone is equal and that you have to fight at your own, then it is not possible. For example we have given reservations for SC , ST communities also and why we have given them reservations is because for centuries they were being oppressed. If we want to bring them there into the mainstream, we have to give them some special treatments so that they may also come into the Mainstream . Similar is the case with women also. If we want to bring them in mainstream so at certain points of time we have to give them special reservations, special schemes as well, then only it is possible that all the women are there in the mainstream otherwise it is difficult cause somewhere some people can come automatically but when you have to work in a holistic manner, when you have to take care of the whole society, then for whole of the society, yes you need special previlages also. You have to give them special treatment, otherwise women in the society has to be a torch bearer because she is the mother also she has to bear the children. Her Primary responsibilities are also that she's working but somehow nature has given her the primary responsibilities to take care of her family . Whenever we say that “no this is the responsibility of a man also”, yes , that is the responsibility of raising a child in a positive manner and contributing towards the development of a child . That is the responsibility of the male also but nature has already gifted a woman with such a quality that she has to take care of the children that is the next generation which is very important for her and for that definitely she requires privileges .