International Women’s Day

International women’s Day organized by HRC in Vavuniya

Vavuniya Human Rights Commission organized the International Women’s Day (which is 8th of March) in Vavuniya on 29th March 2021 with a special program including a seminar on “The Impact of Covid19 on Women and Gender Equality”.

The chief guest of the event was Mrs. Stanley de Mel GA Mannar. Professor Vinothan RDHS Mannar, Mrs. Nalajini Inparaj Planning Director North Province, and Mrs. Sakeela Banu Assistant director of Agriculture, Mannar were special guests who conducted the seminar.

The chief Guest Mrs. Stanley de Mel spoke on the Impact of Covid19 on Women. She spoke on the creation of women. She narrated the following. God created the whole world with one word. “Let there be light” and there was light and so on. But when he created a woman he took some time unlike other creation. One person went to God and asked why he took some time to create a woman and God said because the woman is very special. The man asked what the specialty in her. God said she is very patient like mother earth and bears all the suffering of everyone in the society. When she gets ill she treats herself but when others fall sick she takes care of them. She is the jack of all traits

The man touched the skin of the woman and said but she is very feeble and soft and God said she is feeble only in the body but in the spirit she is very strong. Again the man touched her cheek and said her cheek is wet and God said because she weeps taking upon her the pains and sorrows of others. Finally the man asked then what the weak point in her is; and God said she is not aware of her worth and all the goodness in her. She is not aware of her capacity and strength and the tremendous contribution she makes to the society. The GA wounded up her talk saying the women must realize who they are and their capacity and also learn to accept and respect the other women.

Dr. Vinothan spoke on the impact of covid19 on the health of the women and said the women have faced the whole brunt of covid19. Due to the pandemic the education, transport, employment and spiritual life suffered but it is the women who faced the hardship. They have to care for the children, tolerate everybody at home and do house chores all by themselves. Women who are bread winners suffered much due to the pandemic. Due to unemployment everybody stayed at home and it was the responsibility of women to keep the family going.

Mrs. Sakeela spoke on the impact of covid19 on education and employment and shared that again it is the women who were affected most in these fields.

It was a very meaningful seminar and useful workshop for the women. There was a discussion after the input and the participants gave their feedback. It was well organized and participants came from various categories namely; the NGOs, Women organizations, students, nurses, trainees and Government officers.

Sr. Jacintha Gabriel and myself participated in the seminar and benefitted much. It was a chance to interact with organizations, NGOs and committed lay people. I like the point of the GA on the creation of women. This is the first time I heard this explanation. She spoke more than this and elaborated with another story but I mentioned this as this is the crux of the matter.