Senior journalist, author and Pune365 columnist Sudha Menon held a workshop, Writing With Women (WWW), that saw several women from diverse backgrounds sharing their touching life experiences through the written word that gives a peek into gender structures within the society. The workshop was held on August 27 at Hyatt Regency.
Along with Menon, there were prominent women like Thermax Chairperson and social worker, Anu Aga, Arti Kirloskar, who is the Convenor of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) in Pune and Rati Forbes, the Director of Forbes Marshall Foundation. The workshop also saw these women actively participating and inspiring younger women with their life-changing experiences and anecdotes.
“I loved the workshop. It was a great experience to listen to influential women speak about their life, as well as share my experiences with them too. I have learnt so much from them,” says 19-year- old Devaki Purohit, who was the youngest woman to attend the workshop.
Speaking to Pune365, Menon talks about the response she received from women who attended the workshop, “I am completely blown away by the number of women who participated. The women in the workshop expressed themselves without any fear or hesitation. I feel that women lack a safe space to share their experiences so there is a need to provide a platform for them to come together, talk and write about their life. I think that the workshop has set off a journey into the minds of these women and I am sure they will begin to write down their experiences. This is primarily what I do. Over my years of writing about the journeys of women, I have come to believe that we need to share these experiences so that other women can be inspired and motivated. It was so special to have Anu Aga write so enthusiastically and honestly about her life and times. The rest of the class loved her stories and she enjoyed theirs too!”
The workshop was held for more than five hours and Menon included several writing exercises that used the technique of memory mining in order to help women write about their life experiences easily. Several participants wrote about experiences that they recalled only during the process of the workshop and addressed for the first time in years.
Menon, who is also the author of the book, ‘Leading Ladies: Women Who Inspire India’, plans to take this project forward and continue it in different cities. “I will have another workshop in Pune this October and I plan to take it to other cities including Mumbai and Bengaluru. I want more women to join this so that we can hear more diverse voices. My vision is to eventually develop WWW into a bigger platform where women can write their stories and begin the journey of self-discovery.”
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