Meeting of ICWM in Baroda
On 12th July, 2015, Baroda had the first ICWM meeting. There were 60 women gathered for the meeting. The meeting began with a singing of a Gujarati bhajan. Then Sr. Pratixa MCJ introduced ICWM to the women, the vision and mission of ICWM in some detail.
Sr. Pratixa took up the topic of Gender and violence against women in all field of society for interaction and discussion. Sr. Agnes took the passage from the Bible "Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has chosen me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind; to set free the oppressed"(Lk.3).
Sr. Agnes then explained to women who are Poor, captives and blind in today’s context. It is women who are poor and captives in our society today, who have no voice; are kept in the margin and silent; and blind are the men who treat women very badly and inhumanly.
Videos of violence depicting how women are harassed by men were shown. It was also discussed as to how women suffer even within the church. It was also mentioned how religious leaders, priests whether Hindu, Christian or Muslim, treat women in general.
To elaborate the issue of gender we showed a short movie on gender sensitization by Kamala Bhasin. The movie explained who is a boy and a girl. It explained the sexual and gender difference between girls and boys. We went on discussing and explained how boys are acknowledged and promoted in families and the girls are deprived of their rights. In this women are in some way responsible to promote a man to be the head of the family and society. Allowing the boys in the house to dominate in certain events and situations of daily life, we allow them to learn male domination. The women also shared their experiences how they were and are treated in their own families and in the society by men.
The group also spoke about certain customs of our society and how we, women could help people to bring about some change. At the end we made a commitment that we will stand by one another, our sisters here and anywhere in the world.