“I am a woman, what is your superpower?”
Women don’t get older, they just get better. Since time immemorial women have dedicated their entire lives to empowering women all over the world so that every little girl in each household gets to cherish and benefit from all the opportunities that they themselves couldn’t have.
We have yet another diligent woman among us, Dr. Celine Sunny who keeps on working day and night for the upliftment of women via research that includes strategic planning, design, and execution of long-term development initiatives for women.
Let us get to know Dr. Sunny and her aspirations at a profound level!
Who is Dr. Celine Sunny?
Dr. Celine Sunny is widely known for her in-depth researches on women empowerment and the education of girls, making her a prominent personality in the field of education. She has also proved herself to be contributory in establishing the Centre for Women Studies and Development (CWSD) in 2000 and has been directing the organization since then.
Dr. Sunny has completed her master’s degree in Sociology, Women’s studies, and a doctorate in social sciences. She has experience of over 35 years in heading the Rajagiri Research Institute and has also been an important member of visiting faculty in numerous universities and institutes of Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Jordan, Palestine, the Netherlands, Japan, USA, and UK.
Dr. Sunny has 145 research works to her credit, including baseline surveys, monitoring and evaluation, and 600 training programs, for international agencies and departments of the Indian and Kerala governments.
Dr. Celine and how she tackles the injustices
1. Social Injustice Issues
Dr. Celine informs that her academic and personal experiences in the social welfare segments help her in addressing social injustice issues. She begins her resolution of all the disputes by conducting thorough research studies, gathering every detail and statistics about the issues, and then finally recommending the required initiatives and policies to the concerned government authorities.
For better understanding, she gives us an example of the recent Kerala Budget. The budget incorporated the suggestion of rehabilitation of the people living on the streets, as indicated in the ARC – 6TH reports. This incorporation of Dr. Celine’s suggestion opened the gateway to numerous international platforms which resulted in bringing innovative ideas and strategies to the table of resolving social issues.
As far as water and sanitation are concerned, umpteenth programmes came into existence like the organization of capacity building programmes, legal awareness programmes, and implementation of income generation programmes. With the help of science and technology, Dr. Sunny successfully reached new heights of reducing the social issues.
Dr. Sunny explains that as an academic, she was able to use the assistance of the student community in bringing the matter to the attention of the general public and relevant authorities. Furthermore, strategic social justice concerns were addressed through networking and collaborations with NGOs, state and federal government departments and international organizations.
2. Harassment, sexual assault, and abuse against women
Dr. Celine shares her thoughts with us on why even after having several reforms, policies, and laws for minimizing crime against women, women are still a victim of harassment, sexual assault and physical abuse.
Dr. Sunny believes that the already existing laws and policies need to be more integrated and women-centred to fight the crime against women. In addition to this, she states that there is a lack of coordination among the law enforcement authorities; police, religious departments and government departments. She also states that there is a lack of strong implementation of harsh punishments for those who commit crimes against women.
3. Gender equality
Dr. Sunny enlightens us with her perspective on how the country can be transformed from a male-dominated society to a society with gender equality in every field.
Dr. Celina Sunny emphasis on understanding and reshaping the existing notion about the “work” women are supposed to do at home and the “work” men are supposed to do outside of the home. She believes that people need to look at housework that can be done equally by both men and women. In addition to this, she also says that women should be equally represented in the parliament and legislative assemblies, and women should be given the rights of equal property.
Promotion of women’s employment and facilities for safe travel and accommodation and gender sensitization should be done with the means of workshops, seminars, legal counselling, and many more.
4. Sex Education
Dr. Celine believes that while we are all caught in the mayhem of sexual assaults, rape and, abuse against women, sex education at the school level can help in minimizing the chaos to a large extent.
She says that a women-friendly, viable, and pleasant environments will emerge as a result of sex education at the school level. This will further foster a gender-just attitude among academics, which will then be mirrored in the students’ attitudes and development, resulting in a safe atmosphere for women.