Women of the World as Discussed by Dr. Aditi Mitra

Toni Ortivez
The Paw Print

                Last Friday, Dr. Aditi Mitra presented the campus with a sociology lecture as the keynote address for the Undergraduate Sociology Conference.  Dr. Grace Young introduced Dr. Mitra who was born in India, but has lived in more than five countries and speaks as many languages. She is also the Assistant Professor of Sociology and Women’s and Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

                Dr. Mitra informed the audience that her research and teachings relate to her own life. She gains motivation from different cultures, mainly focusing on how men and women are treated differently. Dr. Mitra said, “My goal is to provide a glimpse into how active women are around the world.” The focus of her lecture was on how women are beginning to make a name for themselves and are fighting back against violence, inequality, and unjust treatment.  

                Dr. Mitra asked the audience to step back, look at themselves, and question if their progress thus far was enough, especially with the continued violence against women and children in the world today. She discussed state sanctioned violence against women and remarked, “It is a way of offering justice for some crimes that are absurdly innocent.”  She also challenged everyone present to confront the belief systems which allow this to continue and perpetually worsen. She asked, “Why don’t we fix the policy or offer more options?”  She has researched these atrocities experienced by women and is trying to make others aware by presenting her research and participating in these feminist movements.

                However, not all of Dr. Mitra’s address related to the atrocities women face.  She recognized the United Nations as being supportive of women’s rights and emphasized their role in helping the women’s movement.  However, she explained, “Women are fighting back harder because of harder challenges and they aren’t waiting for someone else to help.” Women throughout history have fought against war and for equal rights in the educational field and work force.  Yet, Dr. Mitra added, “Somehow the women’s movement here isn’t as aggressive as it was before or compared to how it has stayed active in other countries.”  Each person who is subject to any type of violence or who wants to create change in their life are strongly encouraged to stand up for what they believe and fight for this change.

                Many such causes are headed by women and have caused a great deal of change already.  However, this transformation can’t be accomplished by one country alone.  Nothing is stopping any individual from contributing.  Furthermore, many of these movements are usually successful without resorting to brutality. Most of the movements Dr. Mitri mentioned are non-violent movements, which are forceful but don’t utilize weapons. She asserted, “Most advocate for peaceful solutions.”

                The women’s movement isn’t something that can survive on its own. It requires what Dr. Mitra called critical mass or information networks of people to spread techniques and encourage others to be politically active.  She said, “A critical mass of people is vital for sustainable change in a globalized world. We can’t always do it by ourselves; we need support.”  She urges everyone to look into the movement to create change and to take a hand in the steps toward success and a better future.

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