WDCs play an essential role in generating a crucial debate around everyday sexism, ignorance, and discrimination. Here’s a look at a few active WDCs across Delhi University.
WDCs across DU organise debates, discussions, and seminars related to gender studies and discrimination. These cells serve the purpose of actively promoting gender equality. Some colleges have very active WDCs that had been established decades ago, while others came by as late as 2015. Most students were of the opinion that the WDC in their college functions well and strives hard for student welfare.
1) Lady Shri Ram College for Women (LSR)-
LSR got its WDC as early as 1985. Oppressive relationships, sexual harassment, and self-discovery are all topics WDC LSR has talked about. It has organized events like “Let’s talk”, which allows participant to talk about their problems confidentially. Gender sensitivity workshops and film-making lessons are all activities and events organised by WDC LSR. The cell also hosts awareness seminars about breast cancer and cervical cancer. Nitika, a student from LSR says, “The WDC in LSR is quite active, they organise events from time to time.”
2) Miranda House-
Workshops, documentary screenings, discussions are all organized regularly by WDC Miranda. A short certification course on Women and Law in India has now become an integral part of the college by now. It hosts a three day annual fest called the Gender Mela that comprises of seminars, discussions, talks, skits, and exhibitions. Oorja Tapan, a third year Miranda House student says, “People like Kamla Bhasin are a regular feature. Last year, our initiative “Letters to Patriarchy” in collaboration with Breakthrough Blog was a massive hit”. Overall, they are very active.”
3) Daulat Ram College (DRC)-
Daulat Ram College’s WDC has started organising considerably impactful events recently. Workshops titled “Not just a piece of cloth”, lectures from gynaecologists on women’s health, on academics, on women’s right to property, and the right to justice have taken place. Street plays like “Dastak” and “Ab Bas” are organised, and the film screening of “Izzatnagari Ki Asabhya Betiyan” with Director Nakul Singh Sawhney was held. Donation drives and debates are regularly organised. Naimisha Singh from WDC DRC says, “The cell has organised various events- film screening, self-defence training programme, and has also celebrated with Palna (an orphanage). Our members go and teach the children in terms of academic and health care education. Idea is if we are empowering others then we are also empowering ourselves.”
4) Acharya Narendra Dev College (ANDC)-
ANDC’s Women Empowerment Society named “Sashakt”, organise workshops and invite experts for seminars. They have conducted health check-ups for women and ran a workshop on ovarian cancer as well. Rallies on Women’s Day and competitions are also held. Vaibhav, Gender Champion and Society Head, Sashakt, says “We also run an add on course known an Legal Awareness Course in association with the Delhi State Legal Service Authority and it’s taken by the judges of Saket.”
5) Shivaji College, Delhi College of Arts and Commerce (DCAC), Indraprastha College for Women (IPCW), and Sri Venkateswara College also have active WDCs. In the past, it was just women’s colleges that had active gender cells and they did a lion’s share of work. Co-educational institutes now seem to be able to keep up with women’s colleges in terms of active gender cells. Sexual orientation, health and sanitation, emotional well-being, and self-defence lessons are all areas that WDCs now work on. However, not all colleges have well-functioning gender cells even now which limits the area of influence WDCs have considerably. For WDCs to become a reliable platform for feminism and gender equality, their presence and active participation in every college is necessary. Active participation from students, support from the administration and an increase in resources can contribute to this change.
Feature Image Credits: Miranda House Women’s Development Cell