Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Panchayati Raj
18-November-2010 18:26 IST
Promoting women’s political leadership and governance in India and South Asia
India, Norway and the United Nations Development Fund for Women UN (UNIFEM) have joined hands together to launch an ambitious Program to promote women’s political leadership and governance in India and South Asia . The objective is to ensure that women can play an effective role as leaders without facing discrimination or violence and their concerns of economic, social and physical security are addressed in the village councils and municipal bodies . The three program will be launched by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj , Government of India and the Ministry for International Development and Environment, Royal Government of Norway in collaboration with the UNIFEM in.

The Program will be formally launched Dr. C.P. Joshi, Union Minister of Panchayati Raj and Rural Development and The Minister for International Development and Environment, Royal Government of Norway H.E. Erik Solheim here in New Delhi on Friday ,the Nov. 19th ,2010

The initiative is expected to bring Government closer to people in two ways – a) focusing on capacity development of women participating at the village level and b) linking women’s everyday concerns of livelihoods, education and health to the agenda of the village meetings and decision-making. The program is an important component of the India-Norway Collaboration on local governance. It is based on a “theory of change” which sets out the conditions to be achieved or success criteria for outcomes and results. These conditions of improvement in the situation of women in local bodies are: (i) increased physical security, (ii) favourable, pro-women legal and policy framework for devolution of powers, including in economic and social sectors (iii) greater competency and leadership skills leading to clout in decision-making. Progress along these three criteria would lead to the achievement of national MDG commitments on gender equality and women’s rights.

The program outcomes are as follows:

1. To reduce by 2015 the violence against women in politics reduced in select districts and Panchayats of 6 states of India
2. To strengthen by 2015 the laws and policies on decentralized governance and devolution of powers to local bodies strengthened in line with national commitments to gender equality in South Asia
3. To develop by 2015 the knowledge and capacity of the Elected women representatives in local government to transform and implement policies, programmes and resource allocation for gender sensitive governance in 6 states in India

The Program would be guided by a National Steering Committee co-chaired by the Ministry of Panchayati Ra (MoPR) and UNIFEM with the participation from Ministry of Women & Child Development (MWCD) and Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD).