As part of the initiative, the University will map out vulnerabilities of women and girls at various levels and try to find out the best possible solutions.
The United Nations has officially made Amrita University India’s first-ever UNESCO Chair on Gender Equality & Women’s Empowerment. The official bestowing of the UNESCO Chair took place before an audience of 8,000 people in Paris who were attending a spiritual programme of Amrita University’s Chancellor, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma).
Guests at the event included Ruchira Kamboj, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of India to UNESCO and Dr. Peter Wells, Chief of Higher Education Section, UNESCO. Amrita University Vice-Chancellor, Dr. P Venkat Rangan, handed over the signed agreement on behalf of the University to Dr. Wells.
Dr. Peter Wells, Chief of Higher Education Section, UNESCO, said: “There is no greater force for development, resilience and peace in the world than girls’ education. Universities such as Amrita have a guiding and strategic role to play in this quest.
This UNESCO chair will be at the crossroads of research and action, with the ambition to develop toolkits focusing on vital areas, from skills to health to climate change, on mobile technology applications, and better mapping of vulnerabilities. Amrita University and UNESCO share the same humanist agenda, and we look forward to a collaboration which advances the most important frontier for human rights, peace and progress.”
This is the first-ever UNESCO chair in the field of gender equality and women’s empowerment in India. Amrita University will be mapping out vulnerabilities of women and girls at various levels and from different perspectives. Through research, study, training and an exchange of best practices, it will try to find out the best possible solutions, replicable by others across the world.
Added Amrita University Vice Chancellor Dr. P Venkat Rangan: “It is a first for India that a chair devoted to Gender Equality & Women’s Empowerment is being established. Even in the most advanced countries, there are very few such dedicated initiatives. This reflects the high priority that Amma has given to this critical area in her social and humanitarian works. In the coming four years, we will identify vulnerabilities of women and girls in India and ways of addressing them -- a gigantic task unprecedented in its scope. The focus will be vulnerability mapping as a result of security, education, and skill-development, social and cultural environment, climate change, disaster risks and health and sanitation.”
Launched in 1992, the UNESCO Chairs Programme comprises a global network of more than 700 universities, across 128 countries. It promotes international inter-university cooperation and networking to enhance institutional capacities through knowledge sharing and collaborative work. Through the network, higher education and research institutions all over the globe pool their resources to address pressing challenges and contribute to the development of their societies.