//EVEN ILLITERATE village women will now be able to study in universities.

EVEN ILLITERATE village women will now be able to study in universities.

EVEN ILLITERATE village women will now be able to study in universities. There, they will be educated about their rights and other larger issues through ‘chat mode’ (oral curriculum).

All this will happen thanks to Lucknow University, Garhwal University and AMU, which are jointly evolving a certificate course on ‘Women’s right for global leadership’ in collaboration with agencies like Action Aid and the Planning Department.

These women will have to strictly follow the prescribed curriculum. For the convenience of those who are illiterate, oral syllabus and symbols will be developed so that they can follow what is taught in class.

The course aims at bridging the divide between rural and urban women and preparing them for global leadership.

The first workshop for formalising the course was held at LU on Thursday.

Most of the experts unanimously said that women empowerment was possible only by strengthening women’s groups and developing leadership qualities amongst them.

After pursuing a certificate course on women’s rights, these women’s groups will be able to stimulate other women to assert themselves for their dignity, fulfillment and solidarity. Experts expressed confidence that the three- month certificate course would do wonders in empowering women.

Garhwal University vice-chancellor Prof SP Singh said, “Gender inequity has become a bigger issue now than meets the eye.

It is imperative that universities come forward in this regard.”

Singh was happy that at least three universities had thought on these lines and decided to develop a course curriculum for empowering women. He said the course module would be ready in six months.

“For the next six months, all these participating agencies will hold a series of seminars and workshops at different places in UP, Uttaranchal and at New Delhi to formulate curriculum and study material. This will be an uphill task as the course will even cater to illiterate women,” he said.

Rakesh Chandra, director of Women Studies, said after pursuing the course, these women would go to back villages and translate what they have learnt into reality.

Chandra added: “Action Aid has agreed to support the course for the first few years. They will help in identifying the women in villages and might even pay the fee and bear the cost of lodging the women in the city.”

He said the course was a novel one.

Though the course would attract potential and emerging women leaders from the grass roots, there was a lot of scope for post graduate students, representatives of different women groups or groups working on gender issues, said Hanumant Rawat of Action Aid India. Dr Nishi Pandey, director of UGC Academic Staff College said women needed to gain power for securing human rights, dignity and justice and this course would help them in doing just that.