Experts from different fields suggested various social, cultural and attitudinal changes to minimize the gender disparity and gave their opinion on how to bring positive changes in our day to day lives.
Keeping that in mind, IID in partnership with British Council and PROKAS hosted a series of panel discussions on “Bridging the Gender Gap” for sensitizing youths against various issues propagating gender-based violence. The primary objectives of the discussion series was to create awareness about various concepts/issues propagating violence against women in everyday life and building capacity through a process of experiential learning and personal empowerment to play the role of change-makers and advocates for gender rights in their own homes and communities. Panelists for the sessions included renowned media personalities, advocates and CSO/Development experts. They shared their opinions, personal experiences, and answered audience questions. The event was supported by UKAid and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
The first panel discussion was held on 10th June 2021. Rafiath Rashid Mithila, Head of Early Childhood Development Program at BRAC International and Shirin Lira, Sr. IBP Manager and Gender and Social Inclusion Advisor of PROKAS were present as panelists. Rafiath Rashid Mithila shared her opinions on the perpetuation of gender roles. The family’s influence over a child’s gender role was elaborated. The aspects of men being victimized with the harmful impressions of toxic masculinity were also mentioned.
Shirin Lira talked about existing gender stereotypes and their impact on men and women’s everyday life. She explained how gender-based violence hampers women’s empowerment. She added her opinion on toxic masculinity and its impact on men. She urged to bring infrastructural changes to break the existing glass ceiling in society.
The second-panel discussion was held on 1st July 2021 with Nazim Farhan Choudhury, Managing Director, Adcomm Limited as a panelist. The importance of male participation in the feminist movement was the topic of the session. He urged to establish role models to set examples for women’s empowerment. Discussion on equal voice and equal opportunity were also discussed.
The third-panel discussion on “Bridging the Gender Gap” held on 08th July 2021. Armeen Musa, renowned singer, songwriter and composer was present as a panelist. The gender gap in the music industry was the topic of the session. She suggested the media refrain from promoting the stereotypical roles of gender.
Shakil Ahmed, educator, storyteller and futurist, Ridiculous Futures attended the fourth and last panel discussion on 15th July 2021. He discussed working on changing our habits, thought processes, and awareness of the world to create an inclusive work environment for everybody. He also underlined the importance of shifting the traditional view of vulnerability as a sign of weakness to one in which it is viewed as a vital humanitarian attribute.
Falguni Reza, Joint Director and Gender Focal, IID moderated all the panel discussions. The panel discussion series gave us various perspectives and expert opinions ranging from changing gender stereotypes and norms to creating more opportunities for women in the workplace, to being aware of how we can bring about positive changes to decrease the gender divide in our society.