Guidelines for engagement of Gender Champions by schools and colleges across the country
INVC NEWS New Delhi, The Ministry of Women and Child Development has issued Guidelines for engagement of Gender Champions by schools and colleges across the country. 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. Gender Champions can be both boys and girls above 16 years of age enrolled in educational institutions. They will strengthen the potential of young girls and boys to advocate for gender equality and monitor progress towards gender justice. The broad mandate of Gender Champions is to provide an integrated and interdisciplinary approach to understanding the social and cultural constructs of gender that shape the experiences of women and men in society. The aim is to make young boys and girls gender sensitive and create positive social norms that value the girls and their rights. Gender Champion Clubs are envisaged in educational institutions. These clubs can organize focused group discussions, debates, poster competitions, thematic plays, workshops etc.,identifying gaps in school/college’s activities vis-à-vis gender, and make recommendations on how to address these gaps. TheGender Champions Club can organize school’s annual function or college fest on the theme of gender equalityand women's empowerment and encourage students to sign up and express their support for gender justice and equality. They can organize exposure visits to various public service institutions at the village, block, district and city level (public health centers, hospitals, post offices, banks, police stations, block office, SDM/DM office to facilitate knowledge about gender issues as they affect diverse populations. These Gender Champions shall be identified by aScreening Committee formed by the Principal/Head of Institution. It is also envisaged that a formal training programme shall be organized to equip and empower the Gender Champions.At the end of each quarter, Gender Champions shall submit a report to the nodal teachers, on the implementation of activities related to gender equity. On the basis of the quarterly progress reports, Gender Champions will be assessed according to his/her level of proficiency and accomplishment. These quarterly reports will be assessed at the end of his/her tenure to measure his/her performance. The Gender Champions will be awarded with a certificate of appreciation from the Head of the Institution for his/her committed efforts towards promoting gender equality. A meeting of Committee of Secretaries was held under the Chairmanship of Secretary (Coordination) on 21.05.2015 on the issue of how to tackle the menace of sexual crimes against women. One of the action points that emerged in the meeting is about Gender Champions, involving Ministry of Women & Child Development and Ministry of Human Resource Development. Subsequently, the Ministry has developed the guidelines for Gender Champions. A competition has been announced for the design of badges for Gender Champions through Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao page on MyGov portal.