"Women should have the power to choose and make decisions," Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan said on the occasion of the International Women's Day on Monday.
He was addressing a virtual meet organised by the women fraternity of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre to honour renowned singer K S Chithra as part of the women's day celebrations on March 8.
This year the women's day celebrations at the VSSC revolved around the theme 'Women in leadership achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world' and the hashtag #choosetochallenge.
The programme included an inaugural message by the governor and a speech by K S Chithra.
"Though the Indian tradition represents women as the embodiment of shakti or strength, the status of women deteriorated with the passage of time," the governor said while emphasizing on the need to empower women.
Playback singer K S Chithra who was recently conferred with the Padmabhushan used the opportunity to thank hundreds of women who worked for containing COVID-19. She said managing the household and online classes of children while working from home was no small feat.
Thiruvananthapuram district collector Dr Navjot Khosa IAS acknowledged the contributions made by women in different spheres during the lockdown period and added that it was high time people holding positions of responsibility lend a voice to downtrodden women. The vibrant bureaucrat also emphasized on the need for women to cultivate the culture of 'self care', keeping aside other priorities.
The collector also encouraged women scientists to step into educational institutions to inspire the younger generations.
The welcome speech was delivered by VSSC programme director Dr S Geetha and the presidential address by director S Somnath.
The VSSC director stressed that women played a key role in ensuring households functioned smoothly during the lockdown.
He acknowledged the contribution of his women colleagues in the fault non-tolerant, complex space technology domain.
Dr Sam Dayal, Dr Roy M Cherian, Dr Sharad Chandra Sharma and Dr Biju Jacob also spoke on the topic.