Bhubaneswar, March 4: KIIT DU has launched a week-long celebration to commemorate International Women’s Day being observed on March 8. The main theme is ‘DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality’. KIIT Women Forum (KWF) in association with the Department of Social Sciences is organising the programmes at different schools of the University.
The KWF is the brainchild of the Founder of KIIT and KISS Dr Achyuta Samanta to focus on closing gender gaps and building a gender equality policy.
The International Women’s Day is commemorated to celebrate the achievements of women and mark a call to action for gender equality. KIIT has remained at the forefront of promoting women’s rights and has been ranked 8th best university worldwide by Times Higher Education for gender equality. Fifty percent of its workforce comprises women.
The ongoing events are centred around equal rights, leadership roles, cyber security and health.
On March 1, a special talk on the sub-theme ‘Women, Law and Leadership’ was organised by the KIIT School of Law. It was addressed by speakers such as Director of KIIT School of Law Dr Bhavani Prasad Panda and Faculties of Policy Studies, Doshisha University at Kyoto, Japan Prof Keiji Kawai and Prof Akira Kawaguchi. While Prof Keiji spoke on the life of women in Japan, Prof Kawaguchi discussed the gender gap in Japan.
Faculties such as Prof Paromita Chattoraj focused on ‘Women as Change-agents for Law Reforms’ and Prof Binita Behara dwelt on‘Fixing the Broken Rung’. Prof Soumya Mohapatra delivered her presentation on Women, Law and Leadership: Issues and Challenges’.
The special talk was followed by a dialogue on ‘Women Security @ cyber space’ the next day, where speakers emphasised the potential of technology for women’s empowerment.
Principal Technical Officer of National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology (NIELIT) Prashant Gupta sensitised the staff about the use of mobile phones and the internet, advising all to avoid getting lured with offers and sharing sensitive information. A presentation was also made about digital payment platforms, third-party apps and measures to protect against online fraud.
Technology remained the central theme of both the discourses on Wednesday and Thursday, especially in the context of greater women’s participation in the fast-evolving tech industry. Prof. Sanghamitra Patnaik in her presentation said that more and more should exploit the potential of technology.
“The scant presence of women doesn’t just represent a lost opportunity for them but for society as a whole. Greater diversity at work would provide a global and more accurate view of the major challenges our society faces. If women are left out, not only will the gender gap and inequality continue to grow; it will also be harder for us to address and overcome issues related not just to equality but to economic and social problems as well,” she said.
The dialogue on women’s security and cyberspace was attended, among others, by KIIT VC Prof Sasmita Samanta and the Registrar Jnyana Ranjan Mohanty. The speakers commended the untiring efforts of Dr Samanta towards women’s empowerment, saying that the importance given to women in the field of education and employment at KIIT by him cannot be overstated. Professor Krishna Chakraborty of KIIT School of Engineering delivered the welcome address and the President of KIIT Women Forum Pushpalata Patjoshi gave the vote of thanks.
On March 3,a seminar on ‘Reproductive Health’ was held at KIMS, a constituent of KIIT DU. The participants at the seminar were sensitised about the overall health of the reproductive system, prevention of sexually transmitted infections, safe pregnancy and delivery, among others.
Principal of KIMS School of Nursing Professor Niyati Das, Superintendent of Nursing Sushma Sahu, Vice Principal of KIMS School of Nursing Prof Kalyani Rath and members of KIIT Women Forum such as Dr Soumya Mishra and Deepali Mohanty were present, among others.