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Project Advocating For Change

Advocating For Change: Promoting Women’s Participation And Leadership In Local Governance By Society For Development Alternatives On Behalf Of Un Women-18th December, 2017.

United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and Society for Development Alternatives (Development Alternatives) have agreed to implement a project "Advocating for Change: Promoting Women's Participation and Leadership in Local Governance."

The 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments were milestones in India and these two landmark amendments have increased women's participation in local governance. Despite these two amendments and policies, women still face barriers to participating actively in the local governance processes. The project aims to look at the policies and legislations that promote and impede women's participation in Gram Panchayats. The project will try to analyze the policies that have promoted the participation of women in local governance and barriers that women face to come into politics and governance system by doing secondary and primary research.

The duration of the project is ten-month. During the ten-month project duration, DA will try to build knowledge and evidence through secondary and primary research by involving Community Radio Stations (CRS) and vernacular media. The data and evidence that will be collected through this research will help to bring solutions to foster better governance, transparency, and accountability. This will also help to leverage the rural and vernacular media and generate greater public visibility for the issue, which will potentially influence policy.

This project will try to look at how local and vernacular media and especiallyCRS have played an important role in promoting women’s participation and what are the ways media could build a larger ecosystem that promotes women’s participation in Panchayat elections. It will also try to build an array of partnerships with other communication media, like community radio, online platforms, social media, vernacular media in 6 states, and even mainstream media to ensure that the findings from this research and other research get wider exposure. A strategy will be developed for engaging with the media as a critical stakeholder to advocate for strengthening women’s participation and leadership by upholding the affirmative actions that are guaranteed in the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Act (CAA) of India.

Organizational Brief: Development Alternatives Development Alternatives (DA), the world's first social enterprise dedicated to sustainable development, is a research and action organization striving to deliver socially equitable, environmentally sound, and economically scalable development outcomes. DA’s green technology innovations for habitat, water, energy, and waste management, which deliver basic needs and generate sustainable livelihoods, have reduced poverty and rejuvenated natural ecosystems in the most backward regions of India. DA was established in 1983 and is registered under the Societies Registration Act with the Government of India. It is part of the Development Alternatives Group, which also includes the Technology and Action for Rural Advancement (TARA) and its affiliate social enterprises. DA’s mission is to help eliminate poverty and regenerate the environmental resource base through highly scalable methods. Its activities broadly cover three primary areas that underlie any sustainable development process: the design and large-scale dissemination of appropriate technologies, rational environmental management systems, and equitable people-oriented institutions and policies. The DA-Group innovates such eco-solutions to help meet the basic needs of all and works with partners, including government bodies, local entrepreneurs, and civil society to market these in a commercially viable and environmentally friendly manner to an ever-growing body of consumers.

Organizational Brief: UN Women UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women with a specific focus on the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; empowerment of women; and achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace, and security. UN Women’s Office based in New Delhi covers four countries: India, Bhutan, Maldives, and Sri Lanka. In these countries, UN Women strengthens women’s rights by working with women, men, feminists, women’s networks, governments, local authorities, and civil society. With all of them, UN Women helps to create national strategies to advance gender equality in line with national and international priorities. In India, the nodal ministry for UN Women is the Ministry of Women and Child Development UN Women stands behind women’s equal participation in all aspects of life, focusing on six priority areas: 1. Ending violence against women: 2. Promoting Leadership and Participation 3. National Planning and Budgeting 4. Economic Empowerment 5. Peace and Security 6. Migration UN Women work in local governance space in India: UN Women is currently implementing the second phase of its program on Gender Responsive Governance (GRG) (2015-2018) in partnership with the Ministry of Panchyati Raj (MoPR). The Programme is being implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Panchayati Raj across six states, namely Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Odisha. The program aims at strengthening the capacities of governance institutions to ensure that gender concerns are embedded in the design and implementation of legislation, policies, and programs. The current phase of the GRG program builds on learnings that emerged from the first phase of the UN Women program on ‘Promoting Women’s Political Leadership and Governance in India’ (2011-13), also implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, in 15 districts across 5 states of the country.


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