ALLAHABAD UNIVERSITY'S Women's Advisory Board (WAB) will work to promote the personal, academic and professional goals of female students. It will empower female students on the AU campus in multiple ways so that they are able to achieve their academic and professional development goals in a safe and woman-friendly environment.
The Board will enlist the participation of male students and male faculty members in ending the cultural acceptance of gender-based discriminatory treatment of female students.
This was decided in the first meeting of the WAB that was held in the AU's Women College campus on Thursday with the aim of finalising the vision and objective of the body.
The meeting was attended by around one-and-a-half dozen senior female teachers of AU and was presided over by the WAB's chairperson Prof Alka Agarwal.
The teachers agreed that female students on most campuses of higher education, including AU, have to contend with a hostile campus climate and their lives are riddled with multiple gender-based oppressions, such as sexual harassment (often dismissed lightly as 'eve-teasing)' violence against women, including verbal, physical and emotional violence, lack of physical safety and limitations on mobility.
All agreed that these factors create high level of mental and emotional distress in women students. Such distress undermine women's academic and social adjustment, and places them at a professional disadvantage compared to their male peers.
The meeting resolved that WAB will strive to ensure that a unit of WAB comes up in all the constituent colleges of AU within a fixed period of time with the varsity's own WAB functioning as the nucleus coordinating all the other units.
A decision to convene a WAB meeting at 3 pm on September 18 and invite all the female teachers of constituent colleges and MLN Medical College to get their inputs was also taken during the meeting.
The teachers, on the occasion, also entrusted Prof Alka Agarwal with the task of preparing the budget proposal of the body and submitting it to the varsity for approval and sanction.
Meanwhile, the teachers during the meeting also decided to organise a poster competition for students of both genders on "The sky is not the limit" or "Sara Aakash Hamara Hain" and display the best ones at an exhibition on a date that will be finalised on September 18. The competition will be open for both the AU as well as the constituent colleges' students with the best ones earning certificates and prizes.
The students will have to deposit their posters by October 5. While the college students will deposit their posters in their respective colleges, AU students will be able to do so in the Zoology department (Science faculty), Dean (Commerce) besides English and Economics departments on Senate Hall campus.
On being contacted, Prof Alka Agarwal informed that she would be forwarding the names of WAB members to the Vice-Chancellor for approval and expressed hope that by September 18 the names of the Board members would be finalised.
"A logo competition for students is also being planned wherein the students will submit a logo for the WAB and the best one after approval will be formally adopted to be used on our letter heads," she added.