Gender, Diversity and Social Transformation

A Certificate Course

July 1 – 26, 2024 at Visthar, Bengaluru

Gender, Diversity and Social Transformation is an advanced international course offered annually by the Visthar Academy. Applications are now open for the 15th edition of the course to be held between July 1 – 26, 2024.

Each year this certificate course attracts participants from Civil Society Organizations, Human Rights Commissions, Educational Institutions, Faith-Based Organizations, Community Based Organizations and Social Movements. 300+ participants from 30+ countries have used the skills developed in GDST to transform their lives, resist violence and lead organizations gender sensitively. GDST has enabled several of them to pursue careers as gender specialists, gender facilitators and gender program managers.

Facilitators/Resource Persons
Course Fee and Registration

The 2024 edition of the course will enable participants to:

  • Reflect deeply on one’s own self and identity and how it is shaped by socio-economic forces
  • Develop an intersectional perspective to critically analyse and respond to contemporary issues
  • Develop leadership skills to facilitate transformation in organizations and communities
  • Learn the recent debates on gender justice, masculinities, LGBTQ rights, disability and empowerment.
  • Understand how globalisation, pandemics and other disasters impact gender and social relations.
  • Study the policies of the government and UN agencies from a gender and diversity perspective
  • Gender, social relations and institutions
    • Gender and self: Personal constructs of masculinities and femininities
    • Concepts of sex and gender, gender roles. gender relations, gender equality etc.
    • Sexuality, sexual orientation and gender identities
    • Social construction of gender: role of family, education, religion, media, etc
  • Intersectionality and social transformation
    • Understanding Caste, Class, Disability and Sexuality
    • Power and patriarchies
    • Gender based violence from an intersectional lens
    • Feminisms and Women’s Movements
  • Gender Equality and SDGs
    • A critique of development from a gender and social equity lens
    • Concepts of sustainable development
    • SDG 5 Indicators: Gender equality and women’s empowerment
    • Community monitoring of SDG 5: Methods and tools
  • Intersectional approach to disasters
    • Core Humanitarian Standard from an intersectional perspective
    • Gender, climate change and migration
    • Gender-transformative disaster preparedness and response
  • Gender mainstreaming
    • Frameworks and tools for gender mainstreaming
    • Policy approaches to women’s development
    • Engendering budgeting, planning, monitoring and evaluation
    • Gender in organisation structure, culture and processes

The course will be facilitated by Mercy Kappen, Rajkumari Nimbale and Roshen Chandran from Visthar. The course will also draw on a panel of resource persons including Ms. Ranjani K Murthy (Independent Researcher and Author), Dr. Sekhar Seshadri (NIMHANS Bangalore), Dr. David Selvaraj (Educationist), Ms Madhu Bhushan (SIEDS Collective) and grassroots activists who have been working on gender and social justice for several decades.

The course follows feminist pedagogical principles and an action – reflection – action model, inspired by the work of Paulo Freire. The facilitators/resource persons will build on the experiences and knowledge base of the participants. The methodologies will include group discussions. case studies, role plays, audio-visuals, and input sessions. Participants will share best practices and develop plans and strategies for mainstreaming gender and social inclusion in their organizations and programs.

  • International participants – USD 1,000
  • Residential participants from India – Rs 25,000
  • Non-residential participants from India – Rs 15,000
As this is an intense, close-knit program, seats are limited. Please apply before April 22, 2024 to ensure you get admission.

For more details, please write to [email protected]


  • GDST was a very enriching experience, enabling me to see how patriarchy affect different peoples across the world. I learnt how to integrate theory and practice through participatory methods for social transformation.

    Melina Bravo
    Community Psychologist, Mexico
  • I found GDST a powerful experience because of the interactive learning process, where the learner is exposed to real challenges which they solve and later compare with the theories to gain hands-on experience.

    Rael Muthka
    Social Advocate and Community Organizer, Kenya
  • GDST broadened by understanding of human diversity, and enabled me to reflect on my place in this world. It influenced the direction of my life and led me to work for the rights of Sexual and Gender Minorities.

    Rajesh Srinivas
    Executive Director, Sangama, Bengaluru
  • “A new generation of leaders from Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, and Indonesia re-imagine what a world of equality / justice and love looks like for all of us. Amazing journey with some very talented folx. The facilitating team @ Visthar created a nurturing, non judgemental and happy environment to learn, unlearn and renew our knowledge.”

    Meghana Rao
    Feminist Activist, India
  • “Unlearning and learning at Visthar: “Gender, Diversity and Social Transformation”, a course that has changed the lens of my view on issues of gender, caste, class, disability, and sexuality through building an intersectional perspective. The deeply reflective, participatory, compassionate and feedback-driven pedagogy made the learning effective and comprehensible.”

    Malini Krishnanunni
    Coordinator, Azad Foundation
  • “The course was 100% participatory, interactive and reflective. We took a deep dive to learn many themes around gender. … The course not only helped us to gain new perspectives and knowledge but also many analytical tools to apply in our social transformation work. I feel truly energised to march forward with courage and commitment to justice, love, and peace and to build collective strength for change.”

    Imma Mary
    Director, i4 Connect Foundation