Students in the city have joined in the national outrage sparked off by the gang rape of a young woman in Delhi by drafting an action plan to sensitize male and female students on sexual harassment. The Gender Governing Council, a federation of Gender Clubs in the city, will embark on taking the message to campuses when colleges open after the Christmas break.
The committee of coordinators of the Gender Governing Council comprising student representatives drawn from three city colleges – Bharathidasan Unviersity, Cauvery College for Women, and Jamal Mohamed College – came together to express their solidarity and anger against the gang rape of a 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus on Sunday.
Maintaining that public safety of women is not a gender issue but a social issue, the priority of the council would be to encourage students to break the silence against violence in all forms and raise their voice against eve-teasing or any act threatening the dignity of women, said a student representative from the council. The campaign would involve posters and pamphlets on self-defence, differentiating between good touch and bad touch, and reporting sexual harassment of any kind. “The lines between harassment and teasing tend to become blurred and young women do not come out in the open about issues of gender based violence,” felt a female student.
The gender governing council has also planned a signature campaign to mobilise support in favour of stringent punishment and fast tracking judgment for rape and sexual assault cases. Both male and female students from seven colleges have extended their cooperation in the first phase of the college, said a male student.
“We want the notions that lay the blame on the victim such as her being out at night and exercising her personal freedom are not justification for rape,” he said.
A protest to express their solidarity with the Delhi gang rape victim was planned by students on Friday but was postponed to a later date.