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Gender socialization begins early, and it is important to initiate change process at a young age to shape attitudes and transform behaviors. Schools and colleges play a major role in this regard, because students spend large amounts of time engaged with peers in such settings. Creating positive social norms in educational institutions that value girls and their rights is important to improve the well-being of girls and achieve long-term and sustainable social change.
India is home to around 232 million individuals aged 15-24 years, who account for 19.15% of the country’s population. Engaging with these young students is crucial to help them critically assess notions of masculinity and question prevailing gender inequities. We need to tap into the goodness and sense of justice of these young minds to give them tools for maintaining those gifts as they encounter people and experiences that are different from their own. We need to engage with them to challenge and shift gender norms that contribute to girls and women having less worth, opportunities and decision-making ability than boys and men.
In order to promote gender equality, guaranteed by Article 15 of the Indian Constitution, we need to change the mode of interaction at all levels - home, school, workplace and so on. To increase the outreach for creating an environment that fosters equal treatment, Government of India envisages engagement of Gender Champions in all schools and colleges across the country. Gender Champions can be any student above 16 years of age enrolled in educational institutions. It is a joint initiative of the Ministry of women and Child Development and Ministry of Human Resource Development.


Gender Champions are envisaged as responsible leaders who will facilitate an enabling environment within their schools/colleges/academic institutions where girls are treated with dignity and respect. They will strengthen the potential of these young people to advocate for gender equality and monitor progress towards gender justice.


The broad mandate of a Gender Champion is to provide an integrated and interdisciplinary approach to understanding the social and cultural constructions of gender that shape the experiences of women and men in society. The aim is to make the young boys and girls gender sensitive and create positive social norms that value the girls and their rights.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Gender Champion

The responsibilities of the Gender Champion will include the following:

  • Provide overall guidance to the peer group in integrating /mainstreaming gender in all activities of the Institution in the form of focused group discussions, debates, poster competitions etc.
  • Engage a variety of stakeholders from the school, college, civil society organizations, women’s groups and media in gender mainstreaming activities.
  • Identify gaps in school/college’s activities vis-à-vis gender, and make recommendations on how to address these gaps, e.g., observe classrooms to detect bias in interactions.
  • Promote Gender Champion Club in their educational institutions and undertake innovative activities, like creating a website or blog on gender equity and regularly writing an equity column on issues on, e.g. untold stories of extraordinary boys, girls and transgender who changed lives of women and girls, about enabling legislations, government schemes or about finding a new Gender Champion in his/her educational institution, or competitions to analyze greeting cards from gender perspective, organize film fest on gender equity etc.
  • Organize awareness programmes on various gender issues including legislations to influence behaviour change. This could be facilitated through workshops, theme based plays, films, painting competition, etc.
  • Organize the school annual function or the college fest on theme of gender equality and women's empowerment and encourage students to sign up and express their support for gender justice and equality in attractively designed Gender Champion booths.
  • Organize exposure visits to various public service institutions at the village, block, district and city level (public health centres, hospitals, post offices, banks, police stations, block office, SDM/DM office to facilitate knowledge about gender issues as they affect diverse populations.
  • Popularize phone numbers of such services as police helpline, women helpline, hospitals among students.
  • Arrange for providing necessary life skill education and information/guidance about existing public services to their fellow students.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of important Government schemes, events, legislation, and court rulings which has a major impact on the treatment and experiences of diverse groups.
  • Document best practices to measure the extent of behavior change and display the same through exhibitions, fests, annual magazines etc.
  • EligibilityCriteria

    A Gender Champion should fulfill the following eligibility criteria –

  • Gender Champions can be any student above 16 years ofage.
  • Should be enrolled in and regularly attending school or college.
  • She/he must have secured minimum of 50% marks or equivalent grade in the annual examination/school leavingcertificate.
  • Excellent oral, written, and presentationskills.
  • Should have demonstrated leadershipqualities.
  • Excellent understanding of the socio-cultural issues and prevailing gender norms and practices.
  • Selection

    The students shall be selected by the Head of the Institution in consultation with the student representatives as Gender Champions on the basis of their intelligence, decisiveness and honesty, which are absolutely essential qualities of a leader. The selection decision will also be based on whether the candidate,

  • engages him/her in visible and hands-on initiatives to reduce gender disparities and has organizational skills, including the ability to managepriorities,
  • makes continuous and substantive time investments in mentoring his/herpeers,
  • is easily recognizable by students/peers as a supporter of gender equalityand
  • has experience in the field of gender equality, and an in-depth understanding of key issues anddebates.
  • *Suggested Selection Process

    The process of selecting the Gender Champion is as follows:

  • Head of the Institution will put up the guidelines/eligibility criteria in the notice board of all schools and colleges across thecountry.
  • Applications from interested Gender Champions shall be invited giving time of at least on emonth.
  • Applications shall be received by the Office of the Head of the Institution. Short- listing of eligible candidates will be done by the Screening Committee formed by the Principal/Head of Institution. The Screening Committee will have among others, two student representatives (one male, one female,). Apart from these two students, one representative from a transgender person, if any may also be included as a member of the Screening Committee. Also at least one member should be a woman or a lady teacher, to be co-opted by theCommittee.
  • After verification of the credentials of the shortlisted candidates, the incumbent can be called by the Principal/Head of the Institution (heading the Screening Committee) for screening/interview andselection
  • The Principal will issue the Gender Champion Badge and the selection letter to the bestcandidate/s.
  • Annual ActivityCalendar

    The Gender Champions alongwith the nodal teachers appointed for facilitating them will draw up an Annual Activity Calendar meant for the students of that educational institution. Activities may be planned for any two days in a week. The Activity Calendar will be based on the roles and responsibilities of the Gender Champion mentioned above.

    Term of the GenderChampion

    The term of the Gender Champion shall initially be for a period of one year and extendable for 1 or more years as may be decided by the Head of the Institution. The Gender Champion will receive a certificate of appreciation from the Head of the Institution for his/her committed efforts on successful completion of activities towards promoting gender equality

    Identity Cards to GenderChampions

    Gender Champions will be given an Identity Card to authorize their identity, visibility and engagement with the students and other stakeholders to undertake their specific activities. They shall be provided with a special badge after their selection.


    It is envisaged that a formal training programme shall be organized to equip and empower the Gender Champions. This shall include IEC material pertaining to information about gender stereotypes, various forms of gender based discrimination, gender equity and equality, legislations, life skills etc. Training programmes will be organized by the schools/colleges with inputs from experts. The method of training will be participatory and interactive to enable the Gender Champions further sensitize students, peer group in schools/colleges and family members on gender issues. The Ministry of Women and Child Development will be designing a model training module on sensitizing Gender Champions on genderissues.

    Monitoring and Reporting

    The Head of the institution will maintain a list of Gender Champions with their contact details and verification status. The school/college will also keep a record of efforts/initiatives undertaken by the Gender Champions. At the end of each quarter, Gender Champions will prepare and submit a report to the nodal teachers, on the implementation of activities related to gender equity. The report will be based on the Gender Champions daily diary.The quarterly report will be submitted in a pre-designed format with suitable enclosures as required. (Annexure II)

    Assessment and Evaluation

    On the basis of the quarterly progress reports, each Gender Champion will be assessed according to his/her level of proficiency and accomplishment. These quarterly reports will be assessed at the end of his/her tenure to measure his/her performance. The Gender Champions will be awarded with a certificate of appreciation from the Head of the Institution for his/her committed efforts towards promoting gender equality.