Prof. M. Abdul Salam, Vice-Chancellor, University of Calicut
Members of the Syndicate, University of Calicut
The University of Calicut has recently announced the institution of a ‘Golden Mother Award,’ with the stated objective of highlighting “the contribution of mothers to societal development and nation building and to provide exemplary models to youngsters.” Mothers in the age group of 50+ and who are actively contributing to their domains of service will be considered for awards in eighteen categories such as Art, Literature, Teaching, Social work, Politics, Administration, Media, Sports, Agriculture, Entrepreneurship, Engineering, Medicine, Research, Law and judiciary, Police and Banking, Nominations from educational institutions, trade unions, LSGIs, NGOs and other organizations or from individuals themselves are to be submitted to the Director, Centre for Women’s Studies at the University.
Firstly, this attempt to glorify motherhood is blatantly patriarchal, anti-woman, anti-democratic and a move that pulls society back to the mores of a traditional morality. It implies that a woman’s place is at home and that her principal responsibility (and hers alone) is giving birth to children and rearing them. It pays little heed to contemporary feminist critiques of motherhood as not primarily a biological destiny, one that is made problematic by conditions of poverty, deprivation and societal violence. In ignoring new forms of motherhood and parentage such as adoption, single mothers, and so on, it also upholds elitist, casteist, and patriarchal conceptions of family and womanhood. Continue reading Petition to Withdraw the ‘Golden Mother’ Award by the University of Calicut