Yesterday, on 15th January, the Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) launched a Gender Sensitisation Cell (GSC). Rocky Tuseed, President of DUSU, is set to act as the Chairman, while Narayani Anand, a student of Campus Law Center, is announced as the Convener. The GSC will be operated from the DUSU office space at Chhatra Marg in the North Campus.
The aim of this initiative is to ‘represent and raise the voice of students who suffer any act of sexual harassment or gender discrimination’, ‘ hold interaction with students to create awareness about gender discrimination and remedies available to curb it’, ‘take preventive steps to curb eve-teasing’, and ‘create a healthy and safe atmosphere in the university for people of all genders, especially women and transgenders.’
The GSC, that is still in at the early stage of consolidation plans to work in sync with Women’s Development Cell (WDC), Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), National Commission for Women (NCW), and sexual harassment committees of various colleges. The GSC will also provide legal aid to the aggrieved students.
The recruitment of the members GSC has started. The selection process comprises of an online application that is to be filled through a Google form, and an interview. According to the application form, ‘the selected members will be expected to assist in planning, development, and execution of activities for the promotion of DU-GSC’s objectives.’
You can find the application here.
Narayani Anand, the Convener of Gender Sensitisation Cell, informed DU Beat that the communication and grievance redressal channels will be open from the next month. She also said that co-conveners will be chosen from the students shortlisted after the interview, that is, from among the members itself.
Questions have been raise against Rocky Tuseed’s nomination as the Chainman of the cell. Accoding to the regulations the University Grants Commission, only women can head Gender Sensitisation Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH) and Internal Complaints Committee (ICC). When asked about this contradiction, Tuseed tol DU Beat, ‘My role would only entail the overseeing of the cell. The active role will be that of the convener. I will merely oversee the functioning of the cell as a DUSU representative. It will be a 50 member committee with mostly women and transgender members.’
Sexual harassment and discrimination against the members of the transgender community have prevailed in the University of Delhi for a long time. Despite the remarkable work of the feminist groups in the campus the incidents of pervasive sexism keep emerging. In this environment, DUSU’s this move is extremely important and commendable. However, owing to the history of DUSU-led initiatives, suspicion about the effectiveness and the sincerity of this Cell are bound to rise. Whether or not the GSC will be able to serve its purpose can only be established in a few months.
Image Credits: She The People