Enhancing the role of women


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In 2009, the Centre for Social Research along with WomenPowerConnect and supported by the United Nations Democracy Fund, designed and implemented a training program for women leaders across India. In the world's largest democracy, women hold a mere 10% of seats in India's parliament. Women’s slim percentage in Indian Parliament also reflects their lack of participation in decision-making process. The goal of our project, "Enhancing the Role of Women in Strengthening Democracy", was to enhance the capacity of women to contest elections, sensitize state and national political parties in order to remove barriers for women, and strengthen the network of women across India in order to advocate for women's issues. Drawing on expertise from seasoned women politicians, as well as our own in-house gender experts, CSR prepared a substantial and thorough training module which was executed by 108 trainers in 30 trainings across India. The training was comprised of 13 modules covered over three days. In addition to the in-person trainings, the CSR team designed and launched an online certificate course in leadership, which can be found at www.womenleadership.in
The core strategy of the project was “Train, Contest, Win”. Women’s leadership capacities were built in order to reduce the gender deficit by imparting training to create a pipeline of 1,000 women leaders who would be motivated to contest elections for state legislatures & national parliament. Participant women were selected from across India, with proportional regional representation. Special emphasis was placed on building leadership amongst the marginalized women belonging to Scheduled caste/Scheduled tribe and backward classes.
It is only a matter of time before the Women's Reservation Bill is passed, reserving 33% of seats in state and national government for women. When this day comes, the need for programs to build the capacities of women who want to contest will become even more urgent than it is today. We are proud to have helped 1,000 women in their preparations for contesting elections and we will continue to provide support and encouragement for these women leaders as they pursue their careers in the years to come. But the work can't stop there. Our goal is to provide training and support to as many women as possible at local, state, and national levels, across party lines, and regardless of caste or class. If the serious issues facing the women of India are to be confronted, women themselves must take their rightful seat at the table.

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Enhancing the role of women

  1. 1. “ Enhancing the Role of Women in Strengthening Democracy ” A joint collaboration by: Centre for Social Research (CSR) & United Nations Development Fund (UNDEF)
  2. 2. Women in Politics ( SOUTH ASIA) Bangladesh 64/300= 18.6% Bhutan 4/47= 8.5% Sri Lanka 13/257= 5% Pakistan 76/342= 22.2% Afghanistan 69/250= 27.7% Maldives 5/50= 6.5% Nepal 197/601= 33.2%
  3. 3. Women in Politics (INDIA) “ CAN WE ENSURE GENDER JUSTICE ???” 7514 ( 93%) male contestants 556 ( 7%) female contestants 34,06,58,936 ( 48%) 37,60,17,127 ( 52%) 59 Women MPs (10%) 483 Men MPs (90%)
  4. 4. Objectives enhancing the capacity of the women to fight elections through capacity building trainings <ul><ul><li>sensitizing State & National Parties’ leadership for reducing barriers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>strengthening lobby for passage of Women Reservation Bill </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>strengthening of democracy in South Asian region via dissemination of learning </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Major Activities 1. Formation of Project Team and Advisory Committee 2. Alliance with regional partners Organizing capacity building trainings A compendium profiling 1000 women A list of probable women participants Training Needs Assessment Situational Analysis
  6. 6. Major Activities 3 . Training Module 30 Capacity building trainings for 1000 women 4 TOT interactive workshops with 60 identified trainers Designing and introducing online course on political leadership 4. Lobbying and advocacy for passage of bill 5. Experience sharing at South Asia Level
  7. 7. Project Strategy 15
  8. 8. Regional Partners – Universities Uttar Pradesh ( North India) Lucknow University Rajasthan ( West India) University of Rajasthan Karnataka ( South India) Mysore University West Bengal ( East India) Jadhavpur University Tamil Nadu ( South India) Bharathidasan University 16
  9. 9. Regional Partners – NGOs Punjab - Voluntary Health Association of Punjab New Delhi- Centre for Social Research Uttar Pradesh - Suraksha Gujarat - Chetna Maharshtra – Resource and Support Centre for Development Madhya Pradesh – Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar National Institute of Social Sciences Karnataka– Mahila Samakhya Kerala– SAKHI Tamil Nadu– Women’s Collective Andhra Pradesh – Centre for World Solidarity Andhra Pradesh – Padmavati Mahila Vidyalayam Orissa – SANSRISTI Chattisgarh – SIRSA Jharkhand: Shramajivi Mahila Samity Bihar : Centre for Social Development and Studies Anuranchal Pradesh - Impulse NGO Network 17
  10. 10. Methodology-- SA <ul><li>Secondary data analysis – desk research </li></ul><ul><li>Primary data analysis –case studies </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>6 case studies from each of the 4 regions (24 Case Studies over all) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>4 out of 6 were elected representatives, women holding leadership position in ‘formal’ politics </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>2 out of 6 were women activists, or from ‘non-formal’ political processes (front line organizations, student unions) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>18
  11. 11. <ul><li>Interview schedule: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sample size: - 10% sample of 1000 women = 25 women from each region, a total of 100 women. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interviews conducted with women to get insights on the specific requirements for political leadership. </li></ul></ul>Methodology -- TNA 19
  12. 12. Who are these 1000 women? <ul><li>Methodology </li></ul><ul><li>Each region consisted of 5-6 states( including Union Territories) </li></ul><ul><li>Proportional selection of participants based on the number of parliamentary constituencies in each state and its relative percentage to the total number of seats in parliament (543). </li></ul><ul><li>Regional partners identified the trainees from their region </li></ul><ul><li>These women were elected representatives from from PRI, ULBs and Zila Parishad levels onwards, aspiring members of Political Parties at various levels, Women in Leadership roles and positions, Women activists from NGOs </li></ul><ul><li>The age-criteria ranged from 20-45 years wherein 80% women were from formal politics and 20% from non-formal political processes </li></ul>20
  13. 13. The deliverables: TOTs Discussion on Training Session Plans and implementation strategy 15 resource person per region 4 x 1 day workshop
  14. 14. The deliverables: Capacity Building Trainings 30 trainings completed Trainings organized in association with Universities and NGOs 1000 women leaders from political parties , MPs, MLAs, ULBs, PRIs, advocates, business women, Gender, elections, campaigning, Leadership, communication,Resource mobilization, advocacy, Media mix of theory, experience sharing & practical exercises 30 x 2.5 day workshop
  15. 15. The deliverables: Compendium of Women Leaders <ul><li>First of its kind ever </li></ul><ul><li>Complete profile of 1000 women leaders who were part of the training & aspire to make a mark in politics </li></ul><ul><li>Details include – family background, education background, past political history, present political position & future aspiration </li></ul><ul><li>To be shared with political parties, party heads and other stakeholders </li></ul>
  16. 16. The deliverables: Online course in Leadership <ul><li>The course aims to: </li></ul><ul><li>Provide knowledge about citizenship, gender, leadership, </li></ul><ul><li>national debates, & Indian politics. </li></ul><ul><li>Empower individuals to participate at many levels of Indian politics </li></ul><ul><li>Help participate in local communities as a leader. </li></ul><ul><li>Be a resource for women who seek understanding about Indian society and help chalk out roadmap towards political participation. </li></ul><ul><li>The course can be found on: www.womenleadership.in </li></ul>
  17. 17. The deliverables: South Asia Experience Sharing Workshop <ul><li>The aim was to identify areas of collaborations for sustainability of the initiative </li></ul><ul><li>Delegates from Bangladesh, Nepal, SriLanka and Bhutan were present. </li></ul><ul><li>The online course was launched by Ex. Minister Women and Child Development Dr. Renuka Choudhary </li></ul><ul><li>The project partners shared their experience of implementing the project in their region and the challenges faced. They also shared the success stories of this initiative. </li></ul>
  18. 18. CREATING A CONNECT OF HIERARCHY Implementation Achievements <ul><li>The CBTs brought women politician of all levels together thereby building the bridges from grassroots to National level. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dr. Ranjana Kumari meeting the Hon’able President of India, Smt. Pratibha Patil and other influential people on the issue of Women’s Reservation Bill </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Implementation Achievements <ul><li>Enthusiasm and commitment for the cause shown by partners </li></ul><ul><li>Talks with the Universities & Management schools such as IIM for accreditation & partnership to run the online course beyond project </li></ul><ul><li>Women participants request for capacity building trainings in their constituency </li></ul><ul><li>Talks with MPs to organize trainings in their constituency using the MPLAD fund </li></ul><ul><li>Sensitization of the media through participation in training programs & media coverage of the project </li></ul><ul><li>Talks with Women Studies Centre of major universities to inculcate the training modules in their curriculum </li></ul>
  20. 20. Documents and IEC Material <ul><li>Tools developed for Situational analysis and training needs assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Situational Analysis Report on Women in Politics </li></ul><ul><li>Training Needs Assessment Report </li></ul><ul><li>Media Coverage Report </li></ul><ul><li>4 TOTs and 30 Capacity Building Training Reports </li></ul><ul><li>Brochure, Poster and Reading Resource Material </li></ul><ul><li>Training Modules on Political Leadership </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>“ yeh loktantra hai hi nahi… hum isse loktantra bana na hoga” </li></ul><ul><li>( This is not a democracy , we have to make it one) </li></ul>Comments from Participants <ul><li>“ hume aapne aap se joojhna padega” ( we have to first deal with ourselves) </li></ul><ul><li>“ hum kamzor isiliye hai ki parivar se bandhe hai” ( we are weak because we are bound to our family) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Sanyukt roop se sabhi party ki mahilayen charcha kar rahi hai to lagta hi nahi ki alag alag party se hai” ( It does not seem like that we are from different political parties looking at the way all women are sitting together & discussing issues) </li></ul><ul><li>“ manch, money, media, mike aur mala ki rajniti ko badalna hai” (We have to change the politics of stage, money, media, mike and garland) </li></ul><ul><li>“ mahila ki soch, uske pati ki soch , uske parivar ki soch ko badalna hoga” (There is a need to change the mindset of the women, her husband & her family.) </li></ul>
  22. 22. Feedback from the Participants <ul><li>“ This training has increased my self confidence and can now plan my political career” </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>“ I insist on passage of reservation bill ”. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>“ I have gathered information on various facets of political process and have a better knowledge of procedures for contesting elections” </li></ul>
  23. 23. Challenges Faced <ul><li>Lack of co-operation from male politicians and others in position of leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Red tapeism in Universities consumed a lot of time in forging partnership. Project activities were deferred twice </li></ul><ul><li>Time commitment from women to attend the 2.5 day workshop in midst of other professional and personal responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of resources to translate the training material in local language </li></ul><ul><li>Loss in time due to procedural delays from UNDEF and UNDP </li></ul><ul><li>Non-existence of any pool or data base of women leaders both at state and national level. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Some Learning from the Initiative <ul><li>Women are eager but not informed </li></ul><ul><li>Women throughout the trainings came together as a group cutting across party lin es </li></ul><ul><li>Women across the country are receptive of capacity building initiative but paucity of relevant program </li></ul><ul><li>Regular meeting with MPs showed that few male parliaments are supportive of our cause </li></ul><ul><li>A strong demand for continuation, convergence and follow ups. </li></ul>
  25. 25. THANK YOU