Role of College Women Development Cell in Human Rights Education

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Role of College Women Development Cell in Human Rights Education


People are human; therefore they are entitled to Human Rights. Human Rights do not have to be bought, earned or inherited; they are inalienable, which means that no one has the right to deprive another of them for any reason, even if the laws of their own country do not recognize or protect them. Any modern approach to Human Rights must be coherent. It must include the full, indivisible range of Human Rights. Not only do they mean protection from physical oppression, but involve economic, social and cultural rights. We face many interrelated problems that can be traced to lack of knowledge on human rights. We believe equipping the people with the knowledge on human rights is the best ever which can happen to them. They will use it, as a tool to combat all human rights violations be it economic, social, political, civil and cultural rights. To do this effectively there is the need for a human rights education teaching and learning to the students. There is a need for Human Rights Education. Teaching and learning materials shall be developed at the centre, which will shape the student consciousness and will lead to a change in their feelings, thinking and understanding behaviour pattern and attitudes. This paper gives a brief idea on role of College Women Development Cell in prevailing human rights educations and its impact on student’s community at curriculum approaches, programmes and activities.

Role of College Women Development Cell in Human Rights Education


The value of a nation is ascertained on the grounds of quality and character of its citizens. Education plays a very crucial role in shaping the character and quality of people. In calculating Human Rights values and setting up a culture of respect towards Human Rights in the society is the one way by which an effort can be made in creating a sustainable development of the nation. Any sustainable development has multi-layer approach, encompassing educational, economic, social, political, geopolitical and developmental dimensions. In order to achieve such goal, it is imperative to create a society with least differences at any continuum of life-scale.

According to Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy – Human rights are international norms that help to protect all people everywhere from severe political, legal, and social abuses.Human rights education is all learning that develops the knowledge, skills, and values of human rights.

Objectives of the Study

The study is made with the following objectives in mind:

  • To understand the concept of Human Rights Education
  • To study the functions of CWDC in prevailing Human Rights.
  • To establish a culture of human rights in the colleges.

Research Methodology

  • Primary data is collected through respondents of CWDC of the colleges.
  • Secondary data is being collected through various sources such as books, magazines, journals, newspapers and websites.

Limitations of the study

  1. The data is collected from Mumbai university colleges.
  2. The period of study is five years only.

Review Literature

Education is a powerful means of influencing people and changing their attitudes. Unfortunately, the Indian education system has only recently begun to promote human rights

The National Human Rights Commission of India; the Indian Institute for Peace, Disarmament and Environmental Protection (IIPDEP); and many NGOs have launched a countrywide public information campaign for human rights. It aims to make everyone more conscious of human rights and fundamental freedoms and better equipped to stand up for them. At the same time, the campaign spreads knowledge of the means, which exist at the international and national levels to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Christian Tomuschatin his book, ”Human rights: between idealism and realism“ states that human rights is an action, focusing on their effectiveness as legal tools designed to benefit human beings by combining conceptual analysis with an emphasis on procedures and mechanisms of implementation which provides a multidimensional overview of human rights.

National Commission of Human Rights has stated that Human Rights Education is an indispensable part of the right to education and has of late gained larger recognition as a human right itself. The knowledge of the rights and freedoms, of oneself as much as of the others, is considered as a fundamental tool to guarantee the respect of all rights for each and every person.

The UGC IX Plan Approach (1998) paper to Human Rights has specified that mere knowledge about human rights is not sufficient. An understanding as to how human rights can easily become vulnerable to abuse of various structures and processes of power is crucial.

National Policy on Education revealed that in a culturally plural society, education should foster universal and eternal values oriented towards the unity and integrity.

The Vienna World Conference on Human Rights considers Human Rights Education, training and public information essential for the promotion and achievements of stable and harmonious relation among communities and for fostering mutual understanding, tolerance and peace.

The Government of India has constituted the National Human Rights Commission and several states have constituted the State Human Rights Commissions and many universities have started courses on Human Rights and Human Rights Education, which has also become a part of curriculum in the schools.

According to the United States Library of Congress human rights problems do exist in India, the country is generally not regarded as a human rights concern, unlike other countries in South Asia.

Role of College Women Development Cell in Human Rights Education

A cell setup under the guidelines laid down by the Women Development Cell of the University of Mumbai to promote the well-being of the students, teaching and other women staff to create social awareness about:

  • The problems faced by Women in general
  • Gender discrimination and sexual harassment in particular
  • Promotion of general well-being of female students and staff
  • To inculcate among the students a sense of responsibility towards the society and contribute to social cause
  • Adoption of a Local Slum Area for development purpose

The following are some activities done by CWDC members and students of the colleges.

Inner College Activities

Extension Activities

Social Awareness Programme

Socio-economic survey of Vaidu Nomadic Tribe

Health Awareness Programme

Access to basic education and health services to Vaidu Nomadic Tribe

Activities in collaboration with NSS & HEPSN

Financial and socialsupport to HIV patient and Senior Citizens

Vocational Training in Tailoring for needy women in the area

Distribution of clothes by student volunteers to adopted area

Training in basic computers

Distribution of educational kits

Special Remedial in English for street children

Alcoholism and Aids Awareness

Talk,screenplay,movies organized by the cell for social awareness

Movies conveying social messages like right to education, domestic violence, child abuse, sexual harassment and others.

Methods for Improving Social Commitment

The following are some methods, which can be adopted by teachers in improving social commitment among students:

  1. Human Rights concept can be thought through role play
  2. Explaining the concept of Human Rights with suitable illustrations
  3. Teaching the unfavorable incidents with relation to the subject that exist in the society
  4. Identifying the concept through student’s personal involvement
  5. Dividing the learners into groups and asking them to find out solutions themselves to solve human rights controversies
  6. Using various teaching aids while teaching human rights.

Suggestions and Recommendations

  • Teachers should invite students to express their views on Human Rights.
  • Human rights should be taught as a special subject or a part of a special subject in civic education.
  • Human rights should be included in all subjects.
  • Extracurricular activities and clubs should be formed in the colleges.
  • Teachers should apply human rights to school life and the curriculum.
  • Human rights should be the basis of relationships in the classroom.


Human rights education does not merely impart knowledge in the classroom but also sensitizes students, awakens their conscience, and encourages them to respect human rights. It is the central component in the campaign to develop a right human culture. The culture of respecting human rights and the proper attitude towards it should be inculcated from the very beginning at all levels of education.Training of teachers should be done through regular workshops conducted with the help of resource persons from various fields, and through application exercises. Help from staff colleges would be useful as would international exchanges and university experience. Thusthe learning of human rights helps students to become not only good citizen but also a better citizen of a nation.

Selected References

  • A.Selvan (2010), ‘Human Rights Education’by Concept PublisingCompany(P) Ltd. New Delhi.
  • India, a Country Study, United States Library of Congress
  • World Report 2011: India. Human Rights Watch. 2011.
  • "India’s human rights defenders need better protection, says UN expert". UnitedNations. Retrieved 13 February 2011.