Bhubaneswar: Conforming with the current year’s theme for International Women’s Day campaign, Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world, the Vice-Chancellor of Utkal University celebrated the day with an announcement of setting up a Day-care centre in the campus. This move is a part of the vision of enabling a gender equal campus. The School of Women’s Studies organised this year’s celebration which was presided by the first woman Vice Chancellor, Prof. Sabita Acharya.
The Day-care centre will be set up soon and will encourage young mothers to continue working. “The pandemic has widened the already existing gender gaps in the society. But it has also shown us the power of women leadership. Some of the countries which best managed the pandemic are led by women, “ said Prof. Sabita Acharya citing examples of New Zealand, Taiwan and Germany among many others. “We can not return to the old world anymore. We have to shatter the barriers and harness the power of women leadership,” she further added. Prof. Acharya expressed her determination to make the campus safer for female students and staff.
Utkal University has collaborated with Oxfam India to celebrate women’s day this year and organised a host of events including skit competition, a play on women rights and health awareness programmes for women.
Oxfam India felicitated Prof. Sabita Acharya on the occasion for being the first woman Vice-Chancellor of the university. Two youth gender champions, Sasmita Mandal and Pranav Sahoo were felicitated by the Vice-Chancellor for raising their voice against patriarchy and challenging the system.
Speaking on the occasion, Akshaya Kumar Biswal, Regional Manager of Oxfam India said, “There is a need to challenge the societal attitude, status quo and not just celebrate.” He also spoke about the poor representation of women in our parliaments and assemblies.
A town hall programme was organised in the afternoon which was attended by all female employees of the university. The concluding event of the day were two sessions on Stress Management and Management of Arthritis. They were conducted by Prof (Dr). Suvendu Narayan Mishra & Prof (Dr). Sarthak Patnaik from the leading hospitals of the state, SUM Ultimate Medicare.
All faculty members actively participated in the celebration. Prof. B. K. Mallik, Chairman, PG Council gave keynote address and Prof. Navaneeta Rath, Director, School of Women’s Studies moderated all the sessions.