Women’s Empowerment Year 2001

Since, the year 2001 is declared as “Women’s Empowerment Year”, Peaceful Society has decided to organize several month-wise programmes in Goa to educate the women community about their democratic rights and duties and also the welfare schemes available to them. These programmes were also designed in such a way that they will seek the over-all development of women by providing them adequate information about self-employment schemes. Another aim behind organizing these programmes was to unite the women to fight for their legitimate rights. Unfortunately after declaration of ‘Women’s Empowerment Year 2001’, there was not a single programme declared or organized during first six months by Government of Goa. It was only by Peaceful Society, after a period of six months, some of the programmes were chalked and worked out to rightfully celebrate the ‘Women’s Empowerment Year’. After the introductory programme launched by Peaceful Society, Government of Goa took an initiative to organise such awareness programmes for women on mass scale.

Peaceful Society formed a three-member committee comprising of Smt. Bharati Bandodkar (Programme Coordinator of Women’s Wing, Peaceful Society), Smt. Jyoti Kunkalkar and Dr. Pournima Usagaonkar to chalk out its year long programme.

The following programmes were planned month-wise and successfully organised to educate the women community as a part of celebration of  “Women’s Empowerment Year 2001. The venue of all these programmes was the campus of Peaceful Society, Kundai and the time was from 14.30 hrs. to 17.00 hrs.

Sr. No.

Subject Resource Person

Total participants


Law 1. Adv. Shubhalakshmi Nayak



Banking 1. Smt. Pratima Dhond,

Chair Person of Women’s

Co-operative Bank



Health 1. Dr. Purnima Usgaonkar

2. Dr. Lalana Bakhale

3. Dr. Manisha Naik



Politics 1. Smt. Nirmala Sawant,




Education 1. Smt. Suman Pednekar,

Ex-Director, Education Dept.

2. Smt. Sudha Amonkar, Ex-Principal



Government Welfare Schemes for women 1. Smt. Sandhya Kamat, BDO

2. Smt. Meena Goltekar, BDO

3. Shri Ajit Panchawadkar,




Role of women in literature 1. Smt. Hema Nayak,

Konkani Writer

2. Prof. Bhushan Bhave, Critic

3. Smt. Seeta Kakodkar



Theatre and mass-media 1.Smt. Ujwala Kamat Tarkar

2. Smt. Jyoti Kunkalkar

3. Shri Shridhar Kamat Bambolkar

[All theatre personalities]



Marriages 1. Smt. Mangala Sane

2. Prof. Neeta Torane



Entrepreneurship 1.Smt. Shakuntala Parab

2. Smt. Neesha Hegade



Women’s Commission Dr. Pramod Salgaokar,

Chair Person,

State Women’s Commission,



The inaugural programme was organized on 28th July 2001 in the campus of Peaceful Society. Shri Ravi Naik, the ex-Deputy Chief Minister holding also the portfolio of women and child development was the guest of honour for this programme. All the women participants along with Shri Ravi Naik lighted the lamps and took oath to strengthen the women empowerment movement in Goa. .

Shri Ravi Naik, in his enlightening speech, explained about the role and responsibility of women in building healthy society. Women being inspiration behind most of the successful men, Shri Naik rightly opined that, a woman should receive respect in society.   He appealed that there should not be any discrimination between a girl and a boy in providing opportunities required for their growth. For him, parents should always equally treat a girl child and respect her at par with a boy. Smt. Kamalini Paiginkar, Chairperson of the Margao municipality, in her address, stressed upon the importance of education to the girls in their over-all development. Smt. Dr. Pramod Salagaonkar, the Chairperson of Women’s Commission highlighted upon the atrocities faced by women. She also spoke in depth about the vital issues related to women community.

Shri Ravi Naik applauded this function, saying that it was specially meant to address women’s issues and declared there itself to organize such women’s programmes all over the state of Goa. In order to chalk out statewide programme, he called a meeting at his Government residence on 30th July 2001.

As a part of the Women’s Empowerment Year 2001 celebration by Government of Goa, the first women’s convention of two days was successfully organized at Usgao-Goa. With this, the total number of such women’s conventions reached to 85. The efforts were made to organize such conventions in all the talukas of Goa. The women from Goa who attended in large numbers during these conventions, were benefited from the valuable guidance by expert resource persons during these conventions. Peaceful Society also organised several such programmes successfully through out the year in its campus.  During every programme in Peaceful Society, a total of at least 50 to 60 women and girls from various fields (like school and college going students, teachers, village women and members of women groups) participated actively. In these programmes, women were guided on important subjects as described above by experts from respective disciplines.

FAMILY HEALTH    Click here for detail speech

By Dr. Mrs. Purnima NS Usgaonkar



Excerpt from the lecture delivered by Smt. Suman Pednekar,

EX- Director, Education Dept.

In her enlightening speech, she emphasized upon following important issues related to education.

  • Education for girl child is comparatively a lesser problem in Goa due to its higher literacy rate.
  • The problem of dropouts exists in case of girls going to Schools.

The main reasons for this:

Ø      Economical, i.e. poverty

Ø      Gender discrimination, where a girl is looked as inferior to a boy.

Ø      A girl is asked to take care of household chores, particularly nursing and taking care of younger brothers and sisters when parents go out to work.

Ø       Some times a girl is compelled to work and help sustain her family.

Ø      Inconvenience due to distant location of School.

Ø      The percentage of dropouts of girl children was more, i.e. 61% during the period of 1986 to 1987.  However, now it has come down to 40% and also there is a marginal difference of dropouts between boys and girls.

  • SSC and HSSC results, today, prove amply well that there is satisfactory progress in the field of girl’s education. However, it is noticed that the girls failed during these examinations give-up their further education due to lack of interest and encouragement from their parents.
  • After registering name of a girl child in the School, it is also necessary to pay proper attention and take proper care to retain an interest in the mind of this child for schooling.
  • The incentives like free uniforms, text books, scholarships and rain coats for poor children attending Schools have helped in improving the percentage of School going children. Special efforts are also needed to provide more of such incentives to girl children in order to further improve the status and percentage of the girl children attending Schools.
  • Efforts should be taken to provide cash incentives to girl children from economically backward section of the society for education from Primary to University level.
  • Teachers also should encourage girl children to learn and develop themselves and the nation as a whole.
  • ‘Parents and Teachers Associations’ and ‘School Complexes’ at Panchayat level can play a crucial role in increasing the standard of education of girl children to yet greater heights.
  • There should be proper awareness in the society about the rights of women as enshrined in 73rd and 74th Amendment of the Indian Constitution.
  • Progammes should be framed to build self-confidence among women.
  • To seek an over-all progress of the Nation, the status of women has to be heightened by providing her all opportunities at par with that of men.



Excerpt from the information provided by Adv. Shubhalaxmi Nayak on the subject “Legal Rights of women”.

  • All the fields, which were once open to only men, are now also open for women community to explore their potentiality.
  • Women are now enjoying 33% reservation in politics.
  • A woman can contest even in non-reserved ward. However, a man cannot contest from the ward reserved for exclusively woman contestant.
  • While explaining the atrocities on women, she explained how the husbands take undue advantage of the illiterate women.
  • She explained how the instances of dowry deaths and rape cases have increased in toady’s society and further emphasised upon role of every conscientious citizen to report Police about such cases if noted, in order to prevent them happening.
  • Proper awareness should be created among common people about legalities involved in a marriage. They should be made aware that only after the second registration, the marriage is considered as legally approved.
  •  Awareness should be created among the poor and rural women to safe guard their constitutional rights.



Since, economic self-reliance is considered as very important in over-all development of a woman, a workshop was also organised on the subject of Banking. Smt. Pratima Dhond, Chairman of Women’s Co-operative Bank, guided the women on the subject of Banking.

  • Due to rising unemployment, a pressing need has arisen to search different means of self-employment. In this regard, women, in particular can start their own small cottage industries at home.
  • She emphasised that women should be explained about the loan facilities available in the banks to help women run their own businesses and small-scale industries. Here, she also expressed a need to explain these women about the required formalities to obtain such loans.
  • She emphasised upon the need to explain and familiarise women about bank transactions.




A workshop on the subject of “Government welfare schemes for women” was guided by Smt. Sandhya Kamat and Smt. Meena Goltekar [both BDOs] and Shri Ajit Panchawadkar [Mamlatdar].

These officers explained about various schemes made available by Government for the all-round development of women and urged the women to avail these facilities to become economically self-reliant. They also explained the formalities to undergo in the Government Offices and the kind of certificates to be submitted for speedy clearance of the files. They also urged to spread the information about such schemes particularly to the women folk living in villages. There was an open discussion during this workshop and the women participants freely asked their queries and doubts to these Officers. In particular, the women were explained about the loan facilities made available by the EDC to start a small-scale business.



Smt. Nirmala Sawant was the resource person to guide on the subject of ‘Politics’.

She explained about how cooperation and freedom from the family is required for a woman to play an effective and active role in politics. She narrated the democratic pattern of governance existing in India and the dissatisfaction and frustration people experience from the type of politics prevalent in today’s society. She explained the concept of ‘Gram Swaraj’ as envisaged by Mahatma Gandhi. In the light of Gandhian philosophy, she also explained the role of Gram Panchayats in the development of the villages. She emphasised more upon the decentralisation of power from Gram Panchayats, Zilla Panchayats, State Assemblies to ultimate Central Government. She narrated from her own experiences how difficult it is for a woman to enter in politics and be a successful politician. She opined that a woman should enter into politics only after an age of forty years, i.e. after fulfilling all family responsibilities. At this age a woman also becomes mature enough to understood the strategies adopted by her political adversaries.

Following are the immediate advantages of these yearlong programmes:

  • It was noted here that many of the marriages remain unregistered for lifetime. A list of 27 such marriages was prepared for further action.
  • A total of 17 women insured their Lives by subscribing to Insurance Policies.
  • As a result, one of the women got a job of Insurance Agent.
  • B.D.O.s and Mamlatdars are coming forward to help the needy women by providing information about various Government Welfare Schemes.
  • Shri Ravi Naik encouraged cottage industry by making available two premises to open shops at Ponda. The women from neighbouring villages of Ponda taluka are keeping various home made food items and embroidery works for sale here.