GENDER AWARENESS SESSIONS

KSWDC has been conducting various programs for creating gender awareness among women and girls in the state. Workshops, Seminars, Conferences etc. will be organized in colleges, offices in order to create gender awareness and gender sensitisation.

WOMEN CELL

Women cell is an ongoing project of KSWDC which aims at organizing and transforming young women into a vibrant collective by focusing on their strengths and skill sets and enabling them to realize their true potential. The main objective of a women cell is to make the youth aware of the issues involved in their society and to equip them with adequate management skills to handle day-to-day affairs. Through Women cell, KSWDC has initiated various programs like gender awareness trainings, pre-marital counseling, open forum, cultural programs, manuscript publishing, training in IT/Soft skill, creative workshop, street plays and community intervention programs in the selected women’s colleges in Kerala. At present, activities of Women Cell are active in 80 colleges in Kerala.

The objectives of the women cell are as follows:-

•To inculcate among the youth a sense of social commitment
• To act as a linking channel between the community women and KSWDC
• To provide training for women so that they become empowered in their younger age thereby making them  self-sustainable in the society
• To create a feel of empathy among the youth to their fellow beings
• To explore their innate talents and utilize them to the maximum for the betterment of the society.

GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR STARTING UP OF WOMEN CELL

a) Scrutiny and Sanction:

(i) KSWDC will call for proposals from each Women’s college. KSWDC will scrutinize every project proposal received from Women’s colleges.
(i1) After scrutiny of the project, KSWDC will issue a sanction letter in respect of every approved project.

b) Condition of Grants:

(i) The allocated amount of Rs.25,000/- will be released in four installments.

c) Monitoring:

KSWDC has the overall responsibility of monitoring of KSWDC’s Women cells in women colleges.

SCHOLARSHIP SCHEME AND OTHER ACTIVITIES

Under this scheme KSWDC will pay fees (up to Rs. 5000/-) for 2 students of each college. The selected students must hold excellent academic records and their annual family income shall not exceed Rs. 100000/-. The scholarship applications should be accompanied by a recommendation letter from Principal mentioning the fees amount, attested copy of their mark list and attested copy of income certificate from village office.

In order to avail the remaining allotted fund the respective women cell should conduct any 4 programmes out of programmes proposed by KSWDC (training and awareness programmes, community service programmes, culturals, open forum, creative workshops etc.) and submit reports on them.

INTERNAL COMPLAINTS COMMITTEE

The sexual harassment faced by women at work place is an issue within itself. The sexual harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, came into force on 9th December 2013 and has made it mandatory for every organization and its employer to constitute an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) for dealing with cases of sexual harassment at work place.

KSWDC in association with CMD (Centre for Management Development) had organized six workshops at Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Kozhikode and Kannur districts in Kerala for creating awareness on the importance of ICC among various Government, PSU and private organizations for educating them regarding the structure, role and functions of such committees. The awareness drive was initiated keeping in line with the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court of India; to sensitize and promote the importance of ICC across organizations in the State and to induce them to implement ICC in their respective organisations.

After the successful completion of the ICC workshop across Kerala, the corporation provided an official communication regarding the formation of ICC to 1096 organizations across Kerala. Based on the information received from various Govt., PSU and private organizations, we have planned to develop a database of ICC’s set up in the state. At present we have received the details of ICC from 213 organizations across Kerala.

Read: Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, 2013

SELF-DEFENCE TRAINING

The papers are replete with incidents on crimes against women and danger seems to be lurking everywhere – in public spaces, at work and even at home. A girl or woman can be attacked at any point of time, be it while travelling in train or at bus stations or anywhere. Moreover it is rarely plausible that every public space would provide a safe environment or that bystanders would intervene when they witness violence being meted out against women. There is a dire need to equip our girls in self-defense techniques to ensure their safety in the society.

In the context of the rising crimes against women self-defense is the way out for women and self-defense starts with the mind. It helps build confidence among young girls and women to protect themselves against attacks & violence. The pressing issue of female safety particularly that of young girls prompted the Kerala State Women’s Development Corporation to initiate a programme to provide “Self-defense training for adolescent girls in Kerala”. Self-defense can be empowering for women through education, independence, the ability to make decisions and the self-realization of physical power.

The pilot phase of this project was executed by conducting self-defense training for 800 girls of 20 Govt. girls’ schools in Trivandrum in the Financial Year 2011-12, in association with Yao Lan Kungfu School, one of the renowned Kungfu schools in India. The overwhelming response received from various quarters prompted the corporation to extend the project’s reach to other schools across the state. So far this training has been imparted to over 2800 adolescent girls from 70 Govt./aided schools across 6 districts of Kerala viz. Kasaragod, Kannur, Kozhikode, Wayanad and Malappuram of Northern Kerala. The methodized training was provided to a batch of 40 girls from each of the schools through a 14- hour workshop. The self-defense workshop saw the creation of a simulated environment that helped the students’ identify situations of potential danger and exercise the self-defense skills learned.

The programme has been recognized as the need of the hour and has been much appreciated by the students, school authorities and parents. The corporation is envisages to extend the reach of the programme in other districts too.

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