Inclusion Hallmark of Madurai Regional Consultation, 13-14 September
As part of the advocacy preceding the 2nd MenEngage Global Symposium 2014 – Men and Boys for Gender Justice, the Southern Regional Consultation of Forum to Engage Men (FEM) was organised in Madurai on 13-14 September. There were 128 participants at the event including several media representatives. All the Southern region states - Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Pondicherry were represented.
Discussions during the inaugural session were spearheaded by a panel comprising Ashish Biswas, Senior Advisor, CHSJ, New Delhi, Dr G Palanithurai, Prof and Head of the Department of Political Science and Development Administration, Gandhi Gram Rural University, Dr A Shantha, Retd Prof, Department of Journalism, Madurai Kamaraj University, Prof S Raju, Former NSS Coordinator, Madurai Kamaraj University and Ms Vandana Mahajan, Gender Equality practitioner from Bangalore.
Several planning meetings had been held with all regional partners before the event and great care was taken to ensure the consultation process was inclusive. The participants at the conference were a mixed group of academicians, students, NGOs, consultants and members of the transgender community.
The two-day deliberations saw youth participants in particular deepen their interest in and understanding of the issue of masculinity. They also expressed the desire to act to bring about change.