Kashmiri woman IAS officer raises awareness among girls
A 33-year-old Kashmiri woman IAS officer has gone beyond her routine administrative duties to address an otherwise ‘forbidden subject’ of stress and isolation among young girls in Kashmir during their menstrual periods.
Syed Sehrish Asgar, a 2013-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, is the District Magistrate (DM) of Budgam. She is the first woman DM of the district since it was formed in 1979. She organised the first-ever all-woman conclave at the district headquarters recently to address the problems faced by girl students during their menstrual periods.
Celebrating womanhood, renowned speakers, all women from various fields, spoke on the rights, legal protection, harassment and related issues of women. The speakers included Munsiff Judge District Court Budgam, Tabasum Qadir Parray, Police Women Cell In-Charge, Budgam, Inspector Gulshana, Social Welfare officer Shaheen Rasool, Chief Education Officer, Fatima Tak, and entrepreneur Rubeena Tabasum.
The speakers dealt with the legal rights of women, domestic violence and sexual harassment at workplaces and informed the participants about various women-specific schemes and government initiatives under various departments. The programme was attended by female officers of different departments, female media persons associated with national and state agencies and publications and portals, along with scores of employees, students and female participants from diverse fields.
Asgar deliberated in detail about various levels of women empowerment as she stressed upon participants to take initiatives to break the taboo of female inferiority. She said this is need of modern times that women be part of great changes society is going through and contribute more in social and economic development. She said it is incumbent upon a mature and just society to recognise the role of women and that society cannot be empowered as long as its women are not. She further stressed for standing up without fear for enforcement of women rights, for taking initiative for career building, overcoming environmental and family hindrances which may pull oneself down.
Asgar said there has been an alarming 20 per cent dropout rate among girl students because they feel depressed, dejected and stressed during their periods in a society where even speaking about such a normal biological phenomenon is frowned upon.