An initiative undertaken by the United Nations Foundation, Girl Up is a global organization that strives to achieve gender equality and promote women’s empowerment. Girl Up Clubs are a group of dedicated youth who join together with a common commitment towards creating an inclusive space for all genders.
Girl Up Delhi University, is a club under the same initiative, with students from all over the University. Previously Girl Up Bhumi of Hansraj College, the club expanded its mission in the session 2020-21 in order to make a difference at an even larger scale, by seeking active membership of all Delhi University students. We aim to dedicate our efforts towards advocating the rights of women and working for their collective empowerment. Our goal is to educate, advocate, campaign, serve and fundraise, as well as aim at the personal growth and holistic development of each team member. Ours is an officially recognized club - all meetings and activities are aligned with the Girl Up Mission and directly benefit the UNF Campaign.
So far our club has campaigned for a plethora of causes, like period shame awareness, anti-dowry laws, PCOS awareness, breast cancer awareness, the gender gap in sports, FGM awareness, intersectionality, mental health awareness, and a lot more! We have even released five issues of our monthly newsletter UnBound, that channelizes the efforts and ideals of Girl Up DU creatively. But more than being a space that generates the content and reaches out to people, we hope to see this club as a part of the bigger community of change-makers.
As pandemic along with the series of lockdown was taking a toll on the mental health of people, we decided to host mental health live sessions with three guest speakers - Ms. Bhavika Madaan, psychologist at HopeQure; Ms. K laliteshwari, therapist at Pause for perspective and Ms. Bani Singh, founder of Now & Me. The live session covered various topics such as how the pandemic and the lockdown has affected women living in rural and sub-urban areas, the pressure students have to face during this period and the techniques to overcome these, how do we adjust to the ‘new normal’ as students, importance of opening up and peer support. All the three live sessions conducted received a lot of praise and appreciation especially from the student population. The mental health specialists even gave solutions and methods to cope up with this situation. The Q-A session was open to everyone who had doubts regarding anything.
A panel discussion centered around the theme of the social sector and associated careers; this event proved to be a remarkable success with over 100 attendees joining in to hear distinguished women speak about the aforementioned theme. The panel included various women working in positions of leadership under esteemed organizations such as UN Women, NITI Aayog, Invest India, World Bank and many more. It aimed at demystifying the world of social welfare, while at the same time, providing glimpses of career prospects under the same. The foremost purpose of this panel was to highlight the importance of social work and collective welfare. It highlighted the importance of bringing about a change in society, while elucidating upon the means to do so.
Girl Up Delhi University addressed the topic of anxiety during the COVID-19 outbreak in a series of posts. The 'Covid Anxiety' series looked at why and how the pandemic has become a huge mental health catastrophe for people, particularly teenagers. It discusses factors such as unproductivity and an uncertain environment as root causes for young people's current predicament. While it explains the causes, it also explains how to cope with anxiety by practicing self-care and striking the correct balance between work and personal life. Members from Girl Up Delhi University came out bravely to share their experiences in dealing with mental anxiety and post our action we received a great response from others who can relate. Mental Health is of prime importance in a world alreading coping with pandemic and our initiative was a ray of hope for those whose lives are caught amidst the dark.
Women who code has been one of the major campaigns of Girl Up Delhi University. Launched on 24th April, 2021, information on the statistics related to women in coding as well as the reasons behind the less participation of women. We have also compiled the names of some famous women coders and programmers along with their achievements. Finally, we have talked about the importance of women in coding, in which we mention the problems at base level/the root causes. This campaign has not only enlightened our members but also helped in creating awareness about women in the field of coding and programing.
Girl Up Delhi University launched its series 'Run the world' where we feature 6 amazing female entrepreneurs who have started from scratch and are now running their business successfully. They have talked about their journey and given important messages to the young girls to come forward and follow their respective passions.
Through this series, we wanted to celebrate the hard work and efforts of all the women entrepreneurs out there who are running businesses ranging from home ventures to big multinational corporations We wish to see more girls coming in the field of entrepreneurship and bringing a change in the patriarchal mindset of society by showing that they can make it on their own and can equally 'run the world'.
Girl Up Delhi University initiated a campaign on colorism and took up the responsibility to shed light on this form of unfair discrimination. The campaign was predominantly highlighted on social media wherein we busted the unconscious bias promoted through various avenues such as stereotypical Disney movies, popular brands like Fair and Lovely, and brought out the double standards prevailing in society. The campaign focused on how people, since childhood, are socialized in a manner that embeds Eurocentric ideals in our minds, and took into account the problematic notion of only ‘fair skin’ being treated as ‘attractive’ or ‘desirable’. Through this initiative Girl Up Delhi University also bashed existing Gender Roles, and explicated on the need for re-thinking individual identities without Gender playing a role in them.
To encourage and empower the women around us , Girl Up Delhi University launched 3 comic strips . All of these were centered around breaking stereotypes and existing gender roles. Traditional Gender roles have dragged women down and increased the existing gender gap. To generate awareness about how beauty is not skin deep, how there has been a dynamic shift in gender roles and how your attire doesn't give someone the right to judge you, we strived to create a change and create a better society because YOU do YOU!
Team Girl Up Delhi University launched its campaign on Acid Attacks. Let us stand together to prevent this heinous crime and extend support to its victims who have to go through psychological and mental trauma.Vitriolage or 'Acid Attack' is a violent attack that has permanent damage in most cases. This crime continues to take place rampantly, even though the sale of acids was banned in 2013. Unlike in other countries, in India, these attacks are gendered as most of the victims are women.In the fight against Acid Attacks,many NGOs and organizations have taken the lead. Acid attack survivors aren't victims,they are actual fighters. They carry with themselves, an ardent spirit of positivity, proving that there is much more to them than just the attack. Examples like Laxmi Agarwal never cease to validate the same. In our ten day long campaign we ensured that we were able to create ample online awareness on this campaign and extend our support to the victims.
Girl Up Delhi University collaborated with Streedhan, an NGO working towards women empowerment, in November 2020, with an aim to create awareness about 'period poverty'.
Together, both the platforms created an innovative 'periodic table of elements', consisting of elements that drive menstruation, for instance - Sg stands for 'Sustainable Goods', Ge stands for 'Periods have no Gender', etc. This collaboration not only ends here but it goes on to enlighten everyone about the environmental effects of using regular disposable pads. To change the menstrual hygiene landscape in India, Streedhan offered the ‘sustainable menstrual hygiene kit’ and along with the purchase of every kit, we also sent an additional-kit, so, the purchaser can share it with someone who cannot afford it. This collaboration was very fruitful and interactive too.
Girl Up Delhi University collaborated with OnePlus Student Ambassador Program, and Girl Up India for a 10-day long initiative on Digital Wellbeing and Awareness. The collaboration
emphasized on how engaging with technology affects our lifestyles and routines. Videos, posts, and topics under discussion were facilitated majorly through Instagram, followed by other social media avenues. The topics under the spotlight included the enhancement of work through digital media, as well as the potential threats that digital media brings about, with specific emphasis on Cyberbullying. The importance of mental health was an inevitable aspect to be brought up under this campaign. The successful collaboration ended emphasis on the need to disconnect and introspect within ourselves.
Girl up Delhi University organized a month-long competition for August 2020 wherein students from diverse colleges and different streams took part. The panel consisted of judges who excel in their respective fields and head their respective college societies. The participants were offered six categories to choose from, namely: Singing, Dancing , Artwork, Movie Direction, Acting and Writing. The event was a huge success and people participated with great enthusiasm . All the participants were awarded a certificate of participation and the winners were declared through Instagram.
Girl Up Delhi University through a series of posts, in August 2020, discussed the problem of female genital mutilation (FGM). The series explains what FGM is and why it is such a widespread problem in today's society. Female Genital Mutilation is discussed in this series in terms of its definition, four forms, and process, as well as the reasons for it and the effects it has on women's health. It also looks into the mindset that drives any society to perform FGM, uncovering reasons such as why women's sexual pleasure is despised and how this thinking serves as a catalyst for the perpetuation of horrible discriminatory acts against women around the world. It uses the Bohra community's (75-80 percent of Bohra women are subjected to FGM) and Sudan's fight against FGM (86.6 percent of Sudanese women aged 15-49 are exposed to FGM) as examples of why there is still a stigma attached to FGM and how essential it is to eradicate this stigma.
The Global Leadership Summit was a three-day summit organised all over the world with change makers, leaders, and activists worldwide advocating for social action by standing up and speaking out for equality and inclusivity. The discussions revolved around the theme of ‘Climate Justice for Gender Equality’. Ranging from Malala Yousafzai to Justin Baldoni, from Aranya Johar to Arundhati Katju, and many more renowned change-makers, were speakers at this event. Suhana Nanda, the founder of Girl Up Delhi University and former President, was also invited to speak about the address of global change in the summit. Several members from our team were attendees at the summit. It covered social issues in all areas of North America, Europe, Middle East, and Asia. The emphasis was kept on doubling down our efforts to break boundaries and the glass ceilings. The successful event was carried forward by the motto #GirlsLead.
Through this pandemic, we have all struggled tremendously, but the sex workers of GB Road were amongst the most vulnerable members of society. Mission Mukti, an NGO working to better the conditions of living and work for sex workers, has spent the past few months trying to ensure that these women have access to hygiene and other basic necessities during these difficult times. Mission Mukti is an anti-human trafficking organization founded by survivors of human trafficking. The organization is committed to defending and promoting the human rights of citizens and plays an important role in the process of development. In a collaboration with the reputed organization, Girl Up Delhi University conducted a fundraiser and raised a total sum of ₹14,747 for Mission Mukti. Girl Up Delhi University’s donation was used exclusively to provide food materials to women and children on GB Road. Our attempt to ease the suffering of the vulnerable members of the community aligns with our mission to ensure equitable distribution of resources and opportunities for those deprived of the same.