Gender equality is one of the trending topics these days. Cries are everywhere for treating both genders equally. At the same time, we have reservations for women. The same is visible in the education sector also. At a time when the whole world is debating about gender equality, what is the position of women-only institutions? Does it help women to muster courage in life? Do we really need such a system?
There are students who believe that it is unnecessary while a few others advocate the trend. “I think women’s colleges are necessary,” says Achsah James, chairperson of BCM College, Kottayam.
As a person who studies in a women’s-only institution, she feels that it is a place for women to grow. “In most of the co-ed colleges, boys tend to take up all the roles and girls are mostly sidelined. But, in a women’s college, things are different. She realises that she needs to meet the requirements all by herself and pushes herself to do her best. And once she does so, she understands that she is capable of doing things on her own,” she explains.
Dona Denny, chairperson of St Teresa’s College, Ernakulam, concurs. “Here, we are trained to face the world. When we go out for events like youth festivals, we don’t stay back; we stand shoulder to shoulder with co-ed educations and prove our mettle. It makes us strong enough to confront the world outside,” she says to which Achsah adds, “While going for competitions such as Thiruvathira during youth festivals, girls from co-ed institutions get ground support from their male peers. But, we do all these by ourselves, proving that we could do it.”
However, Merry, a student at Sacred Heart College, Thevara, believes otherwise. In her opinion, co-ed institutions are the need of the hour.
“It is because students study in same-sex institutions that they often tends to misinterpret relationships. They don’t know how to mingle with the other sex and where to draw the line. They would either completely abstain from interacting with the opposite sex or over mingle with them. Both situations are dangerous. Our society comprises men and women. We need to co-exist. I know girls who even have a problem in shaking hands with the boys. That has to change,” she says.
Dona has a different take in this regard. According to her, it is not the gender but the quality of the institution is what matters the most. “Whether it is men’s or women’s college, what really counts is the kind of opportunities it provides to students. The way it moulds determines the students’ future,” she says....