Cartography of Gender Mainstreaming in Women-Exclusive Colleges: A Post-Human Perspective

Cartography of Gender Mainstreaming in Women-Exclusive Colleges: A Post-Human Perspective

Esther Mani (Little Flower College, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2819-8.ch005
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Modern society built on the foundation of humanism improvised by thinkers, philosophers, and revolutionaries lacks the punch of a gender-sensitized community. The aggrandizement of knowledge and power led to fissures in the global context, paving the way to post-colonization and post-modernity that embraced plurality displacing totalitarianism in all aspects of human endeavors. Human centrality to cosmos has long been abandoned, but where do we stand in relational terms in gender sensitivity? Has technology shrunk our personal space and humanism to a palm length, despite making the world accessible at our fingertips? Are gender fixating roles of the society/community sustained vigorously and endorsed with subtlety? This chapter intends to reassess and reevaluate the relevance of exclusive women education portals of Kerala. A survey in a few well-established women-exclusive arts and science colleges shows some new perspectives on the relevance of their existence in the changing environment of human development indices.
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Education Of Women In India

Education highlighted the broadening of the vast horizons of knowledge for imbibement by the masses. Especially India as a nation had a tremendous fait accompli during the colonial days as they energized the role of women in the freedom movement. They thrust forward the inevitability of women in the freedom movement and education turned out to be the hub of transformation. The reformative movements in various politico-religious institutions in India, as identified by Choudhary, (2017), resonated on the shores of Kerala too. For once, the caste and creed legions promoted women and helped them to participate in the pellmell to bring home the yearned freedom from the colonial rule. Educating women became the clarion call for all charitable and welfare associations that steered the movementto victory (Krishnakumar, 2013). Trending women empowerment reaped extraordinary benefits that lasted decades on. The critical overview of exclusive women colleges in Kerala born during the tumultuous years of freedom gives a picture that they still stand tall. Has the modern society forgotten the inception of the original concept today?

Nation building is no mean feat, India as a nation state can be proud to have reached where the country is standing today. The progressive torchbearers of these emulative achievements, have put Kerala and few other states of India in the forefront. Their enviable progress on set targets touching education, health, social security, land reforms and decentralized governance are the anticipatory expectations for the rest of the country (Parayil, 2000). The unique geography of the state with its exceptional physical beauty had paeans sung by poets as well as for the renaissance spirit of its community leaders at the time of birth of the nation and during the formation of the statehoods. Since the state meets most of the UN specified goals so far it is but natural to look in to the progress of the state of Kerala to the latest paradigm shifts in the sustainable UN goals (Stanford, 2018). The policy makers at the UN while ensuring equality for all as vital as freedom, emphasizes on the vulnerability of women as a gender. It envisages the disadvantages that obstruct a quantitative and qualitative progress in goal achievement for women. But the recent reallocated sustainable goals have prominently thrust the mental health and wellbeing of citizens along with gender mainstreaming to go hand in hand to step confidently into the future of mankind.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Taluks: The Taluks or Tehsils or Mandals as they are called across the country are administrative divisions under a district. The state of Kerala has 77 taluks for administration under its 14 districts.

BPL/APL Families: An income-based classification of the number and proportion of people living Below Poverty Line/Above Poverty Line at national and state levels, done separately for rural and urban areas. It makes poverty estimates based on a large sample survey of household consumption expenditure carried out by the National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO).

Primary Health Care Centers: The Primary Health Care Centers are government funded health care units that are in close touch with a population. Each Primary Health Centre has a doctor with 6 beds for patient care. The Center also has a supporting staff and Asha Worker who goes for door to door health monitoring and advice regarding immunization program and pregnancy related health information.

Coeducational Colleges: Colleges that admit both men and women into its rolls. When education began to be imparted to the public it was only opened for males. It was much later that, women were permitted to have public education along with males hence the men exclusive colleges became coeducational through women’s entry.

Professional Colleges: The professional colleges are identified as colleges that impart education in single broad area of study under a university. The medical colleges, engineering, law, etc. fall under the category of professional colleges.

Community Health Center: The government funded health care system of the country which serves a population of more than 80,000 of an area with at least 4 primary health centers under it. The Community Health Centers are the second referral point for more expert care for the patients.

Zillennials: The generation born between 1995 and 2012 are loosely referred to as Gen Z or Zillennials. They have their own environment that is different from their predecessors of which one does not know much about at the present but can be evaluated by the next generation.

Grama Panchayat: Grama Panchayats are village councils in India formed as a part of decentralization of power to the grass root level to empower the people of India to select their local administration.

Arts and Science Colleges: The term Arts and Science Colleges denotes the colleges that impart education that may lead to a graduate or post graduate degree or Doctoral degrees like B.A., B.Sc, B.Com., M.A., M.Sc., M.Com.

Self Help Groups: SHGs are groups formed with 10 or 20 women of a locality who decide to work together for their mutual benefit. A neighborhood model for the social development, benefit the group through this collective forum that procure financial, technical and administrative support for their empowerment through entrepreneurship.

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