Aligarh: To spread awareness that cultivates sensitivity to create a more inclusive and safer society for all, a workshop on “Gender Awareness: A Step Towards Inclusiveness” was held at the Advanced Center for Gender Studies. Women (CWS) from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).
The program was conducted under the University Grants Commission (UGC), Gender Champion Scheme aimed at increasing gender equality among students and creating positive social norms that value girls and their rights on campus premises .
“Each year with this workshop, responsible student leaders are selected as gender champions to facilitate an integrated and cross-disciplinary approach, understanding the socio-cultural constructions of gender that shape the experience of women and men. UGC published guidelines and shared them with all educational institutions to implement them,” said Professor Azra Musavi (Director, CWS).
She added that the CWS continues to work on the responsibility for the implementation of the WBU Gender Champion Program which was entrusted to the Center in 2016-17. CWS faculty members and teacher coordinators from other faculties are in regular contact with appointed gender champions to help students address gender issues.
“In the future, we also plan to work with other faculty and department coordinators to undertake similar activities for a more inclusive environment,” Professor Azra informed.
Faculty members Dr. Tarushikha Sarvesh and Sheeraz Ahmed, who were the respective coordinators and instructors of the workshop, said, “In the workshop, participants were educated on various aspects of gender awareness, including including the social construction of gender and gender roles. They were informed about gender issues, including sexual discrimination, stereotypes, prejudices and gender equality”.
“Students are confronted with their own biases, which forces them to question their own patterns of learning. During the workshop discussions, the need to build trust was identified and it was felt necessary to rethink the ideas of safety and security to create a safe and positive environment on university campuses and in society,” they added.