Indore: University Grants Commission asks varsities, colleges to appoint 'Gender Champions'

Indore: In order to promote gender equality guaranteed by Article 15 of the Indian Constitution, University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked universities and colleges to appoint students as 'Gender Champions' who will ensure that girl students are treated with dignity and respect.

In a letter addressed to vice chancellors and principals, UGC secretary Rajnish Jain said, “There is a need to change the mode of interaction at all levels- home, school, college, university, workplace, and so on. The Government of India, in order to increase the outreach for creating an environment that fosters equal treatment envisages engagement of Gender Champions in all educational institutions across the country.”

Gender Champions can be both boys and girls above 16 years of age enrolled in educational institutions.

Gender Champions are envisaged as responsible leaders who will facilitate an enabling environment within their schools/colleges/academic institutions where girls are treated with dignity and respect.

The UGC asked educational institutions to ensure swift implementation of the “Guidelines for Gender Champions in Educational institutions” (available on UGC website) in in the best interest of students.

The Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India has come out with a badge for Gender Champion which is available on its website and also on My Gov Portal.

The UGC asked the institutions to fill up the online compliance details of Gender Champions and submit the same at saksham.ugc.ac.in.

Selection process

Head of the institution will put the guidelines/eligibility criteria in the notice board of college. Therein applications will be invited from interested students giving time of at least one month to apply. After verification of the credentials of the candidates, the screening committee will recommend that names. HoD will approve one of the recommended names.

Term of Gender Champion

The term of the Gender Champion will initially be for a period of one year and extendable for more or more year as may be decided by the head of the institution. The Gender Champion will receive a certificate of appreciation from the Head of the institution for his/her committed efforts on the successful completion of activities towards promoting gender equality.

--------Roles and responsibilities of Gender Champion----------

-- Provide overall guidance to the peer group in integrating/mainstreaming gender in all activities of the institution in the form of focused group discussions, debates, poster competition etc.

-- Engage a variety of stakeholders from the school, college, civil society organizations, women’s group and media in gender mainstreaming activities.

-- Identify gaps in school, college’s activities vis-a-vis gender and make recommendations on how to address these gaps.

--- Promote Gender Champion Club in their educational institutions and undertake innovative activities like creating a website or blog on gender equity and regularly writing an equity column on issues.

-- Organise the school annual function or the college fest on them of gender equality and women’s empowerment and encourage students to sign up and express their support for gender justice and equality.

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