Here’s a follow up to my earlier post about the “Sampoorna Woman” track on PANIIT. If you go to the site now, it has been changed to: “For The Family”. I am unable to retrieve the original cached page. In summary, the track has been now changed to be less disgraceful to women. It is termed as being for the family, and everyone is welcome to attend. They got rid of the “sampoorna woman” term. Although the core activities of the track are almost the same, they have now invited everyone to attend the main sessions. This was a welcome change from what the track was in its original form.
However, change does not happen by itself. You’ve got to fight for it. After writing my previous blogpost, I would have just given up and walked away, furious with the PANIIT organizers, furious with everyone involved, and more importantly, enraged with society. Luckily for me, I have an extremely supportive husband, who thought it was important to pursue this topic further.
Additionally, in this case, I was lucky to have a supportive colleague who realized the ridiculousness of the whole thing and who had the tenacity to follow up the matter with the concerned folks. He pointed out that as a sponsor company, we should engage in a dialogue with the organizers, and highlight the wrong attitude of the track in question. After some back and forth between the organizers, and our HR folks (who were very persistent themselves), the outcome was quite positive, as seen in the final changed version.
It helps to work in a company which understands its women employees and fights for their issues; it helps to have supportive, persistent colleagues; and it definitely helps to have an extremely understanding and encouraging husband. However, note to self for future cases like this one- despite the luxury of such a wonderful support structure, I should be the one fighting for change myself, rather than relying on others to fight the issues for me.