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Difficult Dialogues opens with powerful discussion on gender policies

Difficult Dialogues opens with powerful discussion on gender policies

Panaji, Feb 9 (UNI) The third edition of Difficult Dialogues, an annual conference tackling the most vital issues facing South Asia, with the theme of gender equality this year, opened with a performance by the Goa University Choir, a thought-provoking panel discussion on the gap between laws and policy implementation reaching the last mile, as well as a spoken word poetry performance, besides agenda setting speeches by the governor and several dignitaries here on Friday.

Filmmaker PrakashJha, Goa State Commission for Women chairperson Advocate Shubhalaxmi Naik, North Goa Collector Nila Mohanan, women’s rights activists Dr Pramod Salgaokar and Albertina Almeida were all part of the panel discussion moderated by NDTV’s Anjali Istwal.

Mr Jha, whose films often challenge the establishment, was critical of government policies whereas collector Mohanan took exception to his statement that all government policies and bureaucrats are ineffective. Advocate Shubhalaxmi Naik remarked that laws were often “stagnant” and a review board was needed to bring laws up to date.

For example, when she took over as chairperson of the state women’s commission recently, she noted that no amendments were brought about in 20 years since she participated in the process of enacting the law starting the commission. Also, women are seen as the “victims” always and even in adulterous relationships, only the man is punished.

Goa Governor Mridula Sinha quoted some of her literary works and reflected on a time when she was part of a protest at India Gate and changed the slogan that was being chanted to say that women were both flowers and sparks at the same time.

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