Ahmedabad University - A Liberal Education

Women's Development Cell

The Women's Development Cell (WDC) provides a platform to students to voice their concerns about changing gender roles, about societal restrictions, unhealthy mindsets, legal knowledge and career issues. The main objectives of this cell are:

  • To sensitise students about issues of gender parity
  • To create awareness amongst girl students about various opportunities available to them for higher studies and for building a career
  • To enable and empower them by way of activities that instill confidence in them
  • To be inclusive and to sensitise all genders for mutual respect and support
  • To routinely organise events (workshops, lectures, training, panel discussions and webinars) that foster all the above

Members of the WDC
S.No Member Name Role Official Landline No. Official Email ID
1. Professor Aparajita Basu
(Chairperson)
Faculty, Arts and Sciences +91.79.61911514 aparajita.basu@ahduni.edu.in
2. Professor Manomohini Dutta Faculty, Arts and Sciences +91.79.61911346 manomohini.dutta@ahduni.edu.in
3. Professor Sonal Yadav Faculty, Management +91.79.61911361 sonal.yadav@ahduni.edu.in
4. Professor Anurag Lakhlani Faculty, Engineering +91.79.61911128 anurag.lakhlani@ahduni.edu.in
5. Professor Maryam Kaveshgar Faculty, Engineering +91.79.61911144 maryam.kaveshgar@ahduni.edu.in
6. Hemal Faizpurkar Integrated MS - 4th year   hemal.f@ahduni.edu.in
7. Preet Rajpara BTech - 4th year   preet.r@ahduni.edu.in

Women's Empowerment Forum

The Women Empowerment Forum (WEF), set up under Gender Champions mandated by the University Grants Commission (UGC), is a student-led collective that supports the WDC and organises several activities throughout the year. These activities range from conducting menstruation awareness drives and self-defence workshops, to organising talks and discussions related to gender sensitisation and career choices.
 


Events
Event6

Conversing Change: Gendered Division of Labour:

Timely changes in the laws of any nation are necessary for its development, and to facilitate such changes, participation of aware citizens is important. This event, conducted in the form of a debate competition was moderated by Professor Sarthak Bagchi, faculty at Ahmedabad University. Division of labour based on gender, engagement of women in politics, women’s education, maternity and paternity laws, modernising the labour code and breaking gender stereotypes were some of the topics covered by the participants. With participants representing different Indian states such as Maharashtra, Kerala, Gujarat, Bihar, and Odisha, the debate addressed key topics surrounding gender laws and socio-economic disparities.


Event02

Choices: Professional Vs Personal Life

Organised as a part of the Women’s Day celebration in 2021, the WDC organised a panel discussion around the topic of making personal and professional choices, and how working couples navigate their way through some of the choices they must make in their everyday lives. While the panellists were in-house faculty from Ahmedabad University, students raised significant questions about gender and career roles, separating the personal from the professional front, juggling different roles and the role of the institution of marriage in an individual’s life.


Event5

#IamRemarkable event:

#IamRemarkable is an initiative of Google aimed to empower women and underrepresented groups to celebrate their achievements in the workplace and beyond, thereby breaking modesty norms and glass ceilings. The workshop was conducted by #IamRemarkable facilitator and Founder and Chairperson of the WEF, Hailey Desai.
The goals of the workshop were: to improve the self-promotion motivation and skills of women and underrepresented groups and to challenge the perception around the notion of self-promotion.

Most of the time, women with accomplishments do not speak for themselves, and it becomes vital for us to give them a voice. The stigma around self-promotion and it being constantly translated into bragging, was challenged. The audience included students from different fields and years of study along with Head of HR, Ahmedabad University, Ms Gunjan Dang and Dr Gayatri Raval from the Student Support, Engagement and Tutelage segment of the Office of the Dean of Students, Ahmedabad University.

Event4

Be the Change Maker for Your University – Youth Fest 2021

Organised by the Women Empowerment Forum, this competition was conducted as a part of Youth Fest 2021 on January 24, 2021. This event was based on the core idea of Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see in the world”. The aim of the competition was to bring forward the “Changemakers” the University already has, and to unleash their potential. Some of the topics covered by the participants as a part of group and individual activities were finance, gender sensitisation, health and hygiene, self-defence, and cancer awareness. While this was meant to be part of a larger celebration, it also became a platform for creating awareness about individual capacities to create change and make a difference. This event saw participation from both students and faculty.


Event3

What has led to the culture of rape in India?

This was a collaborative event between the Social Service Forum and the Women Empowerment Forum, Ahmedabad University. Guest speaker Ms Megha Jani, a Senior High Court lawyer, was in conversation with Professor Aparajita Basu, faculty at Ahmedabad University. The purpose of the conversation was to discuss the reasons leading up to increasing cases of rape in India, and the ways in which these can be prevented. Objectification of women in media, the role of the film industry in perpetuating stereotypes, and economic, social, and cultural disparity among women in urban and rural areas, were some of the topics that were covered during the conversation. The conversation also focused on the relevance of public protests, and the need to spread awareness about rape and its impact on mental health.


Event2

Let’s Talk Feminism

The WEF organised this discussion on feminism with two faculty members of Ahmedabad University, Professor Chirag Trivedi and Professor Mary Ann Chacko. Based on the ideas of equality, equity, and fairness, the talk aimed at unpacking some general notions of feminism as an institution. Some other points of discussion revolved around patriarchy and feminism, common and deeply-rooted versions of anti-feminism at both professional and personal fronts, and gender bias that exist in the everyday lived realities. With a very participative audience, this conversation arrived at a broad understanding of feminism and its perception.


Event1

Cyber Security Awareness Seminar

Mr Manan Thakkar, Corporate Advocate, Cyber Lawyer, and Information Security Advisor, in a conversation with Dr Tana Trivedi, faculty at the Amrut Mody School of Management, discussed the importance of cyber security awareness especially during the time of the Covid-19 pandemic. Jointly organised with the WDC and the WEF, this talk shed light on different aspects of cyber crime including hacking, monetary theft, fake documentation, and other unlawful activities. Followed by an interaction with the audience, this online seminar also raised awareness about cyber protection and laws, with several questions revolving around student-related issues and their solutions.


Event8

Demystifying Dignity

Organised as part of Women’s Day celebration by the WDC in 2020, this conversation with Ms Mallika Sarabhai was about women, work, and dignity. In conversation with Professor Chirag Trivedi, Ms. Sarabhai discussed her ideas of empowerment and art, drawing examples from her own life struggles with patriarchy. Being an artist of international fame with multifaceted expertise and experience in theatre, dance, politics, and other fields, she stated her ideas of art and dignity of women, the barriers, and stereotypes that women face in their careers.


Event9

Run for Women's Health

The marathon was a collaboration of the WEF, WDC and the Fitness Club at Ahmedabad University and Utkarsh charitable trust, a registered, non-profit organisation established to support women through education and resource availability. The aim of the Run was to raise awareness about women's health and such organisations that work to facilitate the growth of underprivileged women at the community level. Students and faculty from the University participated in this five- and 10-kilometre run, which was followed by distribution of certificates and medals among participants.