On the occasion of International Women's Day 2018, we asked the women of top b-schools across India to highlight their achievements, views on feminism, the #MeToo campaign and their perception of gender inequality in our country.
I am Devina Das and I’m pursuing MBA in Sustainability Management at Xavier University Bhubaneshwar. I am a person who values honesty and dignity above everything else. I believe that hard work always pays off and I’m grateful to God and my loved ones for whatever I’ve achieved till now. I am an independent woman and like doing things on my own and rarely do I take others’ help. I am a strong believer of karma, so I conduct myself accordingly.
How would you explain feminism to a 10-year-old?
Feminism is the belief that women should receive equal treatment as men, that is, they should have equal rights. That does not mean blindly advocating ‘why should boys have all the fun?’ ideology. Amidst the chaos of getting to do everything that a man can do, we forget that a woman is meant, has been designed by God himself, to do things a man can never do. Yes, she has every right to do what a man does, but in doing that we should not forget the things that only a woman can do. Feminism, according to me, is being a dignified woman, fighting for what one believes in and inspiring many other women along the way.
Which female icon has inspired you the most and why?
J. K. Rowling is my idol. I absolutely worship her. I wish to do exactly what she has done which is to impact and inspire the whole world with my work. A woman, rejected 12 times by publishers, didn’t lose faith in her work. Just imagine what would the world have been today had she given up on her book? Her perseverance is an inspiration. Hermoine, who is supposedly based on Rowling herself, gives a reflection of what kind of a person she is- an intelligent, independent, courageous, making-sure-her-offenders-repent-what-they’ve-done (remember Hermoine hitting Draco, and in real life those 12 publishers’ regret) and loving woman. This is everything I strive to be.
What kind of impact do you think the #MeToo campaign created?
In my opinion, the #MeToo campaign created no impact at all. Did the rapes and sexual harassments and molestations decrease? No. Does the woman expect the offender to be ashamed and never do such a thing again? According to me, #MeToo campaign exploited the naïveté of the girls who had at some point been abused, and created zero difference in their lives.
What are your thoughts and feelings about such movements?
I do not feel such movements create any difference in the world until and unless it provokes the government to pass a law or amend existing laws to punish the offenders and discourage future potent offenders.
What attitudes towards women have you encountered by men in education - professors
and students - that you wish to be corrected?
Very frankly, other professors and students have a very positive attitude towards me, they always expect the best from me, and in fact, get disappointed if I’m not able to perform according to their expectations. I have faced this throughout my life, and this attitude keeps me motivated to better in life, so I would not wish to correct anything.
Having gotten the benefit of elite education, how do you plan to pass it on to other disadvantaged women?
More than the elite education, what I feel other disadvantaged women need is the strength and courage to stand up to any injustice taking place around them. And I wish to provide that strength and courage to them. Stories of strong women, women who achieve their dreams against all odds, inspire me a lot. Movies like Hidden Figures, Joy, Chak De India and books like A Thousand Splendid Suns motivate me like nothing else. I wish to provide that strength and courage exactly in that manner; through stories of strong women who, in spite of the world clipping off their wings, fight with their claws.
MBA- SM 1st year
Xavier School of Sustainability, Xavier University