California, July 14: A virtual symposium titled “Women are Special: Varied Life Experiences in Contemporary Society”, was organized by the women forum of the Odisha Society of the Americas (OSA) on the occasion of its 51st convention.
The virtual symposium discussed varied life experiences of women in contemporary society.
Dr. Annapurna Devi Pandey, Anthropologist, University of California, comparing between women of two sections of society said globally it is proven that women are better and insightful leaders.
Female leaders of developed countries have proved that they have done far better job in handling multiple crises like Corona in the present times. On the other hand, lakhs used to domestic abuse, witch hunting in rural areas in Odisha and other parts across the globe. She discussed the ways to overcome the difficulties women are facing in rural pockets.
Art historian Dr. Rajashree Biswal, discussed on “Gender, Art and Identity: A Perspective from Odisha”. Although we have come a long way considering the gender issues and equality of women, our social structures and consciousness are still deeply entrenched with the white, male and heterosexual normative of life, she opined.
She urged to relook, to be inspired from and engage with numerous positive examples from the Shakta tradition, folk, popular culture and other art forms of Odisha, where women are represented with dignity.
Pankaja Sethi – an artist, designer and researcher spoke on “The Voices of the Weavers” from different regions of Odisha. She shared her travel experiences to remote villages of Odisha in the pursuit of stories and crafts to understand the nuances of indigenous tradition of rare textile material culture in relation to gender.
Among others, Netra Chavan, the founder of ‘H4 and H1B visa Holders’ Facebook Group discussed on Visa issues related to women and Sapna Adhikari Rath, a computer professional at CISCO, spoke on “Impact of Society on Mental Health – A Women’s Perspective”.