WEBINAR REPORT on ICSSR SPONSORED
TWO DAY NATIONAL WEBINAR ON
SOCIO-ECONOMIC-POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS OF COVID-19 ON WOMEN IN INDIA
DEPARTMENT OF JOURNALISM
Kalindi College, University of Delhi
(Date: 10-11 June, 2021)
Ms. RAJNI NAGPAL (Chairperson, Governing Body)
Dr. NAINA HASIJA (Principal, Kalindi College)
Dr. MEENA CHARANDA & Dr. RAKHEE CHAUHAN (Webinar Conveners)
DR. MANISHA TOMAR (Webinar Co-Convener)
TWO-DAY WEBINAR ON “SOCIO-ECONOMIC-POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS OF COVID-19 ON WOMEN IN INDIA”
DATE- 10th JUNE, 2021; DAY 1
PLATFORM – GOOGLE MEET
The Department of Journalism, Kalindi College, University of Delhi organized a two-Day national webinar on the topic “Socio-Economic-Political implications of Covid-19 on women in India” on June 10th and June 11th, 2021. The webinar was sponsored by the Indian Council of Social Science Research under the able guidance of Dr. NainaHasija, Principal, Kalindi College and
Ms. Rajani Nagpal, Chairperson, Governing body. The panel of guests for the inaugural session boasted of a number of dignitaries – Chief Guest – Prof. K.G Suresh (Vice-Chancellor, Makhanlal Chaturvedi University, Bhopal), Guest of Honour – Dr Ajay Gupta (Director, ICSSR, Delhi), Distinguished Guest – Sadhvi Pragya Bharti (Motivational Speaker & Spiritual Teacher) and Special Guest – Ms Archana Singh (News Anchor, India TV).
In her welcome address Principal Dr. Hasija shared some interesting anecdotes regarding the history of the Department of Journalism and congratulated the Webinar conveners Dr. Meena Charanda and Dr. Rakhee Chauhan and webinar co-convener Dr. Manisha Tomar for organizing the event. An audio-visual presentation was given by Dr. Tomar that gave an introduction to the idea and theme of the webinar. Chairman, Ms. Nagpal enlightened the participants with some very pertinent facts related to women’s health, their social and financial status and also provided concrete suggestions to improve their condition.
Prof. Suresh highlighted the plight of ASHA workers, struggles of rural and urban poor girl child in attaining online education and the double burden of working women. Dr. Gupta was overwhelmed with the response that the webinar received and assured for future collaborations between Kalindi College and the ICSSR. Sadhvi Pragya Bharti emphasized on the importance of mental and emotional wellbeing of women during the pandemic and discussed how it took a toll on women’s mental health. Ms. Archana Singh in her address to the gathering mentioned that the pandemic had given a setback to women’s movement and that women need to now emerge with double the force to compete in a man’s world. The inaugural session came to a conclusion with a vote of thanks delivered by Dr. Meena Charanda.
The webinar was divided into four technical session – two sessions held on June 10 and the remaining two on June 11. There were a total of 60 scholars from institutions like IP Univeristy, Amity University, Delhi College of Arts & Commerce, Institute of Home Economics, Punjab University, Gurukul Kangri University and Mahatama Gandhi Central University who presented their research papers.
The first technical session commenced after the inaugural session with the participants eager to present their ideas. The session was moderated by Dr. Ritika Pant and chaired by Prof. Manoj Dayal, (Chair), Guru Jambheshwar University of Science and Technology, Hisar and Ms. Archana Kumari, (Co-Chair), Jammu Central University, Jammu & Kashmir. A total of 13 papers were presented in this session. Some of the issues addressed during the session were domestic violence, work from home culture, digital literacy amongst women and the working conditions of women journalists. and how it affected women in the due course of the pandemic.
The second technical session was moderated by Dr. Ritu Sharma and chaired by Dr. Durgesh Tripathi, (Chair), University School of Mass Communication, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University and Dr. Rajeev Panda (Co-Chair), Associate Professor, Department of Journalism & Mass Communication, AIMC, Delhi. The speakers of the second session placed emphasis on work related difficulties. Speakers spoke about gender-based responses to the pandemic, self- help groups and the economic side of women empowerment. What was interesting to note was that women were more equipped with microfinancing during the pandemic than men.
DATE- 11th JUNE, 2021; DAY 2
PLATFORM – GOOGLE MEET
The third technical session was chaired by Prof. Nisha Pawar, (Chair), Head, Dept of Journalism and Mass Communication, Shivaji University, Kolhapur, Maharashtra and co-chair Ms. Manisha Singh, (Co-Chair), Journalist & Faculty, Ranchi University, Ranchi, Jharkhand and moderated by Ms. Bharti. Dr. Pawar acquainted the audience with the situation prevalent at the grassroot level in the country and explained that the virus has made an adverse effect in the small cities. Ms. Singh carefully comprehended the traumatic situation that the pandemic had posed and elaborated on how professional and knowledgeable discussions came to a standstill. And that is why this webinar, according to her, was a step towards encouraging insightful discourses. The presenters for Technical Session 3 focussed on varied issues faced by women in the Covid-19 Pandemic. The presenters were able to generate awareness on topics such as Gender based Digital Divide, Condition of Women in the Unorganised Sector during the Pandemic, Effect of Social Media and and Parenting during the Pandemic.
The last technical session began with moderator Dr. Shanuja Beri extending a cordial welcome to the honourable chair Dr. Parul Mehta Mehra (Chair), Faculty, India Today Media School & Trinity Institute of Professional Studies, co-chair Dr. Shikha Rai, Assistant Professor, School of Journalism and New Media Studies, IGNOU, Delhi and Ms. Sarjana Sharma, Deputy Editor (News), Sanmarg Hindi Daily.
The panelists thanked the committee for organizing such an informative and synchronized webinar for instigating discussions about women and the circumventing issues they are faced during the pandemic. The topics for presentations ranged from Mental Health of Women, Elderly as well as Health Workers to Digital Literacy in women. The papers were well-researched and accompanied by surveys that looked at the effects of numerous elements on women, throughout the pandemic.
Chair, Dr. Parul Mehta, in her address, emphasized that the social aspects of the Covid crisis on women should be given proper coverage and how the pandemic, far from being gender neutral, has surely made a hard-hitting impact on the sanity of women. Dr. Shikha Rai mentioned that a woman’s socio-economic position and the societal pressures are responsible for their sufferings being more than the male counterpart during the pandemic. She cited the example of Taiwan and mentioned how a small women led country had fought the pandemic with limited measures. Ms. Sarjana Sharma regarded the session as eye-opening. She congratulated the presenters for taking up a diverse range of topics.
The valedictory session commenced at 2 pm and was moderated by Dr. Ritika Pant. She stated how the two days successfully registered various upcoming roles of women amid the pandemic. She acknowledged the panelists, convenors, managing committee, and volunteers for being the backbone of the event. Dr NainaHasija (Principal, Kalindi College) appreciated the subject of the webinar and addressed the adverse impact of the Pandemic on Women by gratifying the audience’s appetite for intellect. She complimented the panelists and the college committee for organizing such an incisive event. Ms. Rajni Nagpal (Chairperson, GB, Kalindi College) was thrilled to observe all the distinguished guests and presenters bringing out a wide array of issues over the period of two days. She stressed upon the idea of continuing the discussion and not keeping it limited to just the webinar. Prof. Sanjeev Bhanawat (Former Head and Professor, Centre for Mass Communication) cited some real life examples to make the discussion more evidential. He sighed that women empowerment has been disastrously affected due to the coming of this pandemic and stated how mental health has to be upright to ensure physical well-being of women. Guest of Honour (Dr. O.P Dewal Director, SOJNMS, IGNOU) brought forth some eye-opening statistics about the fatality rate among women, in the instance of Covid, being higher than the male counterpart. He also talks about the societal norms of women being the caregiver in the family and says that such sacrifices shouldn’t be considered sacred anymore. Ms. Nibha Sinha (Media Expert and Editor, Edwin Group of Journals, USA) commended the macro and micro level references made throughout the seminar. She advocated for an interdisciplinary approach in research areas and suggested that for a research to be meaningful it must find solutions to real issues. Dr Rakhee Chauhan presented a report for the Two-Day National Webinar where she summarized insightful details and re-emphasized subjects which needed due attention, followed by a vote of thanks by Dr Meena Charanda, Dr Rakhee Chauhan, and Dr Manisha Tomar.
The webinar managed to initiate a powerful dialogue combined with extensive research. Expanding the map of one’s knowledge, the webinar managed to provide a deliberate comprehension of various issues that have stemmed up from the unregulated nature of the socio-politico-monetary structures, which have been instigating continuous maltreatment of the minorities in lieu of such emergencies.