UPES goes the extra mile to promote gender parity
As we celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child, it is a matter of pride for UPES to see UNICEF’s theme for this year – ‘My voice, our equal future’ – in alignment with the university’s vision
According to July 2017 to June 2018 survey by the National Statistical Office, the literacy rate of men in India stands at 84.7 per cent while that of women at 70.3 per cent. It’s a difference of around 15 percentage points. However, over time, the gap has been shrinking, hinting at a growing inclination for women’s education — a significant step towards closing the gap.
A patriarchal mindset, gender stereotypes, and financial difficulties are the three major hurdles that stop girls from taking the leap of pursuing higher education. To bolster the family income, when parents go out for work, the burden of managing the household chores squarely falls on the girls. As a result, education takes a backseat, and with it, their future. Indian women contribute a paltry 18 per cent to the nation’s GDP – one of the lowest in the world.
Education is the tool to empower the girl child and give her the clarity of mind to make decisions that will help her realise her dreams. It is the means through which she can improve her quality of life, lead to equitable development, and have a wide-ranging impact on the society and the nation. With this vision, UPES launched the ‘Shakti’ scholarship this year. The university announced an unconditional 25% scholarship to all girl students applying for all under-graduate and post-graduate courses starting with the session of 2020. Today, as we celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child, it is a matter of pride for UPES to see UNICEF’s theme for this year – ‘My voice, our equal future’ – in alignment with the university’s vision.
‘Shakti’, a Hindi word, means power, strength, or force. The vision of the ‘Shakti’ scholarship is to change how the world perceives women’s power. It strives to empower them with the mindset to shatter the glass ceiling, silence the noise of patriarchy, break the tall boundaries of stereotypes, and ascend the summit of financial liberty. The ‘Shakti’ offer of 25 percent scholarship is a step closer to reinforcing the vision, speeding up the gender equality journey, and creating a more gender diverse equation on the campus. Besides the ‘Shakti’ scholarship, the university offers a 33 percent domicile concession to Uttarakhand’s bonafide girl students.
The university also runs a ‘Shakti’ program that fosters the development of women leaders working with the institution. An intensive selection process handpicks a batch of 30 women employees and enrolls them in the meticulously designed 9-month program focusing on adaptive skills, emotional intelligence, business communication, and team management.
UPES has always been at the forefront of fostering an inclusive, gender diverse environment. The ‘Shakti’ initiative is a testament to its proposition of being a ‘university with a purpose’. For the past 17 years, the purpose has been to give students the tools to craft their careers, irrespective of their gender, and bring about the change they want to see in the society.
Come, be a part of the change-makers. Visit https://upesforshakti.upes.ac.in/ to know more about the initiative, the admission process, and the Shakti stars.