At The Feminist Conf organised by and UN Women

The good folk at, Shaili Chopra, Meghna Pant and Amrita Tripathi, and the very fabulous Nishtha Satyam of UN Women put together a powerpacked evening of panels for the very first The Feminist Conf. held at NCPA on Oct 17th. I was honoured to be part of a panel on Feminism at Home, with Dolly Thakore and Aditi Mittal.

Here are some pics and a report about it.

Messages At Home Perpetuate Gender Stereotypes: Feminist Conference hosted India’s first feminist conference, empowered by UN Women India, in Mumbai yesterday evening. Discussions revolved around whether Feminism is now considered the ‘F’ word, whether it is important to include men in the discussion, and whether feminism can often start from the home.

Veteran actress Dolly Thakore, comedian Aditi Mittal, author Kiran Manral and founder of SheThePeople.Tv, Shaili Chopra, discussed the ways in which men and women can be given different messages starting from their childhood. The messages children are given can sometimes perpetuate gender stereotypes, the panelists agreed.

Aditi Mittal said that while she was growing up, she wanted to get married and have children. She said she didn’t know any better. It was only a few years ago that she realised that there is a ‘whole other world out there’.

Dolly Thakore recounted her fascinating and uncharacteristic journey. She comes from a family in which women held power, and the men were more subdued. She says she learnt to be independent because of her hard-working grandmother and mother. She also mentioned how campaigning for the feminist cause was different when she was growing up. She said that bra burning was in fact the first thing she heard of when it came to feminism. Even though many wrongly associate feminism with those kinds of symbolic acts in today’s world, at that time the needs of the movement were different, and those acts were important, she said. Indeed, the place women are at today is because of the women who fought for our rights years ago.

Thakore should know, she has interacted with legendary feminists like Gloria Steinem and Erica Jong.

Kiran Manral spoke about her experiences with her pre-teen son. She said that the idea of understanding what consent is should start from a young age.  She has taught him that everyone has full rights to their own body. If he doesn’t want to hug or kiss someone, he doesn’t have to. ‘My body is my space,’ and ‘no means no,’ she tells him.

Read the original here


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