An Awareness Programme on Gender and Employment

The Department of B.Ed., Loreto College, Kolkata, in collaboration with Loreto Day School, Dharamtala, organised a virtual social awareness campaign on 'Gender and Employment' for the students of class IX of the school. The virtual campaign was conducted by the B.Ed. trainees on Google Meet on June 16, 2021. The session began with the teacher-trainees of the Department of B.Ed., Loreto College, Kolkata, addressing the teachers and students of the school and the screening of a video on a hypothetical situation of reversal of gender roles at the workplace to highlight the prejudices that women have to combat in their professional lives. The session continued with a detailed and illustrated discussion on the various problems women face in their field of work such as inferior treatment, the concepts of 'glass ceiling', de facto position of women, and the persistent issue of gender pay gap across different professional sectors. The school students were requested to participate in a Google poll session where three situations were presented to the students to gauge their opinion on certain issues. This was followed by a comprehensive discussion and portrayal of the types of harassment at the workplace which was complemented by a video on gender-based violence at the workplace. The teacher-trainees carried forward the session by suggesting some measures to overcome the gender-based problems in the professional field by shedding light upon significant matters such as grievance redressal system, proper work ethics, the various laws to protect women at workplace, the important Government schemes to help women with gainful employment and the roles played NGOs for making the professional space safe and free of prejudices for women. The discussions were concluded with an activity where the students put forth their views and thoughts about the campaign. The campaign focused on making the students aware of gender-based issues at the workplace and the measures to address and overcome them. The campaign was concluded by highlighting the powerful words of Mahatma Gandhi that "Woman is the companion of man, gifted with equal mental capacity" to reiterate the need for equality of gender at the workplace. The campaign ended with a vote of thanks delivered by a teacher-trainee from the Department of B.Ed., Loreto College. We are grateful to Mrs. Meenakshi Kapur, Principal, Loreto Day School, Dharamtala, and Ms. Debjani Mahajan for their immense support and cooperation towards this programme.