Gender Discrimination is a systematic, unfavourable treatment of individuals on the basis of their gender, which denies them rights, opportunities or resources within any given society. The Women and Gender Development Cell (WGDC) is a mandated body as per Section 3.2 (15) of UGC Guidelines (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal of Sexual Harassment of women employees and students in higher educational institutions) Regulations, 2015.
TISS believes gender justice on campuses is clearly not an ‘isolated operation’ requiring quick fix solutions, but an exercise involving a perspectival shift that is able to set down norms of respect, non-discrimination and the unacceptability of any abuse of power, along with robust processes of debate, discussion and dialogue. This has to be the purpose of a new pedagogy within which issues of gender justice are seen as an integral part - not as ‘women’s issues’ to be ghettoized or added on to academic or curricular agendas as a ‘requirement’ or afterthought.
Given the realities of a heterogeneous and diverse student body, purely punitive approaches to issues of the ‘safety’ of women and gender sensitization serves little purpose in terms of meaningful intervention however “well intentioned” they maybe. Instead approaches must be iterative, continuous and sustained focusing on empowering young people through educative, preventive and correctional strategies. The Women and Gender Development Cell (WGDC) therefore is mandated to work towards such processes based on the recognition that cis-women and other persons in gender-marginal locations are not ‘victims’ who need ‘protection’, but rather have agency and capability, which they need to be empowered to exercise effectively. Hence all measures of WGDC are directed at promoting such practices, foster mechanisms that safeguard fundamental rights and increase participation and visibility for students in all realms of the academic world.
Objectives of WGDC:
Understand and progressively engage with issues of gender as a social location, intersecting with other vulnerabilities.
Identify discriminatory behaviours towards persons in gendermarginal locations, including ciswomen, persons identifying outside the binary, or discriminatory behaviour towards nonnormative sexualities and expressions.
To initiate dialogue on these questions and promote gender-awareness within the TISS community.
Providing support and creating an enabling environment for sharing anxieties, problems and difficulties faced by persons marginalised on account of gender and sexuality.
Make recommendations to the TISS community and administration for changes/elaborations in the rules for students in the prospectus and the byelaws, to make them gender just and to lay down procedures for the prohibition, resolution, settlement and prosecutions of acts of discrimination and sexual harassment against women, by students and employees.
Train and coordinate the work of Gender Advocates who can champion gender awareness through workshops and other activities.
The WGDC therefore on the one hand strives towards activities and programmes to create a gender aware and gender just environment within the campus. At the same time, it contributes to prepare and capacitate young people with appropriate perspectives, attitudes and skills to work towards creating gender just spaces in the external world outside the Institute.
The WGDC also works in tandem with Internal Committee of TISS which addresses all complaints of sexual harassment within the Institute as per Section 4 of the UGC Guidelines (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal of Sexual Harassment of women employees and students in higher educational institutions) Regulations, 2015. The mandate of the Internal Committee is to handle all complaints, provide support to complainants, conduct the hearings and submit appropriate recommendations to the higher authorities.
Members of Women and Gender Development Cell, Mumbai Campus
Dr. Asha Achuthan (Chairperson and Nodal Officer for Gender Champions)
Ms. Resham Gangurde (Member-Secretary)
Dr Shewli Kumar
Dr. Narendra Kakade
Dr Tania Shaw
Ms. Minal Sawant
Dr. Asha Mukundan
Dr. Lata Das
Dr. Shilpa Phadke
Ms. Sukanya Ray
Dr. Pranjal Deekshit
Members of Women and Gender Development Cell, Tuljapur Campus
Dr. Anjali Kulkarni
Dr. Sai Thakur
Dr. Veeresh Hanchinal
Dr. Shridhar Samant
Mr. Kundan Dhumal
Mr. Satish Tambe
Members of Women and Gender Development Cell, Hyderabad Campus
Dr. Rekha Pappu
Ms. Swetha Shenoy
Dr. Nilanjana Ray
Dr. K.P. Rajesh
Members of Women and Gender Development Cell, Guwahati Campus