The 8th of March commemorates International Women’s Day, where people all over the world celebrate the various achievements of womankind and deliberate on the progress that has been made and is yet to be made. Back home at National Law University Delhi, GenderCircle, celebrated the day by holding events spanning across the week.
On the first day, March 8th, the group hosted an informal discussion on the grass in front of the cafeteria concerning the various experiences of women from diverse backgrounds. These women were students from our college and were given a platform to talk about their diverse experiences, whether it be the struggle of coming to a place dominated by an English-speaking crowd or to the bewildering experience of coming to a place hundreds of kilometers away from home. Later that night, the Cinema Club and the GenderCircle collaborated to screen ‘The Hunting Ground’ an Oscar-nominated documentary that explores rape and sexual assaults on college campuses in the United States. The discussion that followed the movie drew parallels between the colleges depicted and our very own campus. From the power structures, to the unspoken ‘bro’ code and college culture in general, the documentary brought to light various aspects of our student life that has never previously been debated.
On March 10th, the GenderCircle invited Sehjo Singh, Programme and Policy Director of ActionAid India to deliver a talk on ‘Sustainable Development and Women’s Rights’. Ms. Singh, interacted with her audience and very succinctly put forth the idea that sustainable development can only occur if the traditional masculine traits of aggression and power are discarded and the more traditionally feminine traits of nurture and foresight are adopted.
March 11th saw dozens of students and even our very own Registrar participating in the poster making and poetry recitation event. The theme for the poster making event was ‘Breaking Free’ while the poetry recitation event, titled ‘ek shaam hamare naam’, had no specific theme but just aimed to give people a platform to either perform their own pieces or recite their favorite poems. A number of women stood in front of the bustling crowd in the cafeteria and recited poem after poem in their own unique manner. The results of the poster making event can best be described by the cafeteria wall which is now adorned with all the posters that were made by students and even the Registrar. The GenderCircle also screened a movie, ‘Dum Lage Ke Haisha’ for the housekeeping staff of the girls hostel, in the common room to express our gratitude for all that they do for us.
The aim of all these events was to celebrate women. From the unique and often unspoken experiences every woman faces to the common and overlooked struggle of an everyday woman, the events wanted to attempt to encompass them all. By promoting a culture that would allow women to sit on the grass and randomly discuss their experiences and plastering the walls with messages of empowerment and strength, the events organized by the GenderCircle managed to achieve just that.