Even though colleges have been open to women for about a century now, it’s a little disheartening to hear that cases of sexual discrimination and harassment are still rampant in colleges. The #metoo movement that swept the world in 2018 exposed many cases of sexual abuse faced by college students, which lead to many universities setting up programs that empowered women. Among them was to set up self-defense classes for females and hotlines for easier reporting.
The female empowerment campaign shouldn’t start and end with #metoo. Here are other ways colleges can empower their female students:
Equalize representations in student councils
Leadership begins in tertiary institutions. In the past, student governments and student bodies were male-dominated across the country. Policies can be drafted to increase the number of female candidates for on-campus elections. You can also ban misogynistic and sexist campaigning.
Encourage on-campus mentoring programs
Young women who come into campuses as freshmen and show leadership potential should be engaged in mentorship programs with senior female students. This ensures that there is a steady stream of female leadership on campus.
Organizing female support groups
Although there are many campus counselors available, they can’t be expected to handle every case. This is why support groups are important. They can really do wonders for mental health, and not just for coping with a crisis. For example, there can be support groups for graduate students in a particular discipline to talk about their problems and work out solutions that would then be be presented to the faculty.
Tackling basic misogyny
It’s not just the women that need to be empowered on campuses. Men and everyone else need to be empowered too. They need to be empowered to fight misogyny and change age-old practices by being educated about toxic and misogynistic behaviors. Women themselves need to speak out against practices like ‘locker room talk’ that objectify women and start resisting these behaviors from friends, colleagues, and partners
Encouraging women to take up causes
Whether it’s a fight for a better environment, better housing, more political involvement, healthcare or anything else, female students should be allowed to fight for causes they believe in. They should be allowed to form societies, canvas for signatures, join protests and basically speak their mind. Giving female students more platforms to be vocal is one of the best ways to encourage female empowerment on campus.