The millennium development goal laid down the need for gender equality and empowerment of women. Absence of gender sensitization amongst the males may be attributed to the gender equality to a large extent. The standard norm has been to debate about the eroding value system in the present society for the violence against women. The issue of violence, subordination and inequality based on gender, needs to be addressed by significant institutions like family, educational institutions and work places, which play a vital role in formulating ideas and values on gender perspectives and relations.
Gender not only refers to the physical identity of men and women but also refers to the role of they play in a society that is conditioned by various factors arising out of social, political, economic and cultural contexts. Sensitization, at this juncture becomes important because of prevailing inequality leading to socio-cultural discrimination of a single gender. This discrimination is being practiced by the members of the other gender of the same society, strongly supported and legitimized by religious and educational institutions, and the polity to a large extent. According to Gloria Stienem, ”We've begun to raise daughter more like sons, but few have the courage to raise our sons more like daughters.” The patriarchal order of Indian society continues to play an important role in the differentiated entitlements to access to rights and resources. This attitude is hindering the growth and identity of women thus demolishing roots to social transformation. In the present scenario, the millennium development goal to promote gender equality and empower women comes as a boon to all the women globally. It is universally understood that it is the sensitization of gender in a society that can bring about a paradigm shift in the roles, rights, and privileges of men and women thus paving the way for socio-economic equality.
In a country like India, which is governed by the male patriarchical order, women suffer from multiple disadvantages. Some of the reasons for the prevailing unequal gender relations are attributed to the lack of gender sensitization, degradation of value and morals, as a result of the inherent conditioning of minds of the youth. In other words, the role of the family, peer groups and educational institutions merits attention, in terms of the creation ofa socio-culturalenvironment.
In India, gender as a social construct, continues to play an important role in translating the power relations between men and women based on masculinity and femininity; India practices power distance too which is reflected in relations between men and women at family as well as at a societal level. As Simone de Beauvoir had stated that, “One is not born a woman, but becomes one”- it is imperative that educational institutions and the civil society intervenes and contributes towards an egalitarian system which promotes gender relations and dignity, based on equality, justice and fairness.
The Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad is committed to ensuring gender equality in its campus. It also seeks to ensure justice to all the sections of the society by initiating the pro-bono activities to help poor and marginalized people though community lawyering, legal aid camps and permanent legal aid clinics. The SLS Hyderabad believes in holistic development of nascentlegal minds and ensures learning beyond classroom by planning field visits and workshops in collaboration with various stake holder and civilsociety organizations.
The workshop by the Symbiosis Law School seeks to address the issue of gender rights and the relevance of sensitization. The workshop seeks to inform the law students about the various issues involving safety, security and dignity of women. It is an attempt to make the law students conversant with the various problems faced by women and the legal and other remedies available to them.