At a time when The Hunger Project has empowered more than 80,000 elected women representatives in India to be effective change agents in their villages, ambitious women’s voices are being silenced by a Two-Child Norm policy that prohibits the participation of any representative with more than two living children. The policy restricts women’s political participation, hampers the growth of female political leadership, and further marginalizes the most effective community of leaders.
When Elected Women Leader Deepa Rajguru was first elected to local government, she found it difficult to function in the male-dominated system – being asked to sit at the back of meetings and refused the right to contribute. Following a Hunger Project training, Deepa joined with other elected women to speak out against this type of gender discrimination.
September 7-8, 2011, The Hunger Project-India and government officials gathered with 300 elected women representatives to discuss their achievements and challenges as political leaders working to bring about a better tomorrow for their communities in rural India.
On June 28th, 2011, The Hunger Project-India and public officials gathered to celebrate 200 newly elected women representatives in their new roles as political leaders working to bring about a better tomorrow for their communities.
The Hunger Project-India collaborated with eleven other organizations to bring 200 elected women leaders together for a two-day, open-forum convention in Bhopal on December 21-22, 2010. The women aimed to share their journeys as elected leaders, discuss achievements and challenges, identify issues for state-level advocacy and build a collective understanding of future goals.
The Hunger Project was invited to attend an Expo on Democracy and Open Government at Xavier's College in Mumbai, India on November 7. At the event, President Barack Obama met Country Director Rita Sarin and Sarmi Bai, an elected woman representative, trained by The Hunger Project, who is president of her panchayat (village council) in Rajasthan.
Smt. M Renuka currently serves as a member of her village council and president of Karnataka's federation of elected women leaders, SUGRAMA. She has fought for improved drinking water and the education of girl children in her community, and led state-wide campaigns for asking for 50 percent reservation for women leaders in Gram Panchayats in Karnataka.