GUWAHATI, April 7 - The role of women in shaping civilisations throughout human history was highlighted by several speakers at the 41st annual session of the Baghorbori Asomi Mahila Samiti at Panjabari which claims to be the oldest women�s organisation in the city.
The meeting was held at the conference hall of the Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra.
Sewali Choudhury, retired senior executive of RBI, who was the chief guest, dwelt at length on how women down the ages played a pivotal role in shaping the destiny of mankind. She spoke about the different stages where women across the world fought for realisation of their basic human rights and due honour in society.
Addressing the function as appointed speaker, journalist Mainee Mahanta spoke about brilliant literary works of woman writers of the State such as Nalinibala Devi, Dr Nirmalprabha Bardoloi and Mamoni Raisom Goswami, and narrated how they fought relentlessly in upholding the cause of women as equal partners with their male counterparts.
The Samiti felicitated four elderly citizens of Panjabari � Dr Achyut Medhi, Kaumudi Kumar Dutta, Nivedita Medhi and DN Chakravartty � in recognition of their services to society.
In a speech, Chakravartty said Assamese women have been playing a significant and honourable role in the development of society right from the age of the epics. He referred to the glorious exploits Assamese women of the past including Sati Joymoti, Mulagabharu and Chandraprabha Saikiani in the later days.
Narrating the history of women empowerment dating from the 18th century, he referred to the contributions of Mary Wollstonecraft who in her monumental work A Vindication of the Rights of Women signalled the first revolutionary voice of woman.
He dwelt on the contributions of John Stuart Mill, Simone de Beauvoir, Raja Rammohan Roy, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar and Swami Vivekananda in working for honour for women in society. Mahatma Gandhi, while fighting for national freedom, also took up the cause of women as a part of his nation�s struggle for freedom, he added.
The meeting was presided over by Pratibha Bhuyan, president of the Samiti, while working president Chandraprabha Bhuyan welcomed the guests.