Block-level Workshops (Orissa, India)

Several awareness camps and community sensitization workshops were held at the village and panchayat levels to inform people about the need to integrate a gender component into governance. These were in addition to the block-level workshops held in the run up to the WLWs.



Name of

District

Name of

Organization

# of

Block-level Wkshps

# of

Participants

# of

Elected women leaders

1.

Gajapati

IWD

3

215

135

2.

Dhenkanal

PIPAR

9

391

105

3.

Anugul

NSS

21

198

175

4.

Nuapada

Ayauskam

4

227

154

5.

Khurdha

PECUC

1

-

171

6.

Kalahandi

Karrtabya

3

149

44

7.

Kalahandi

Dapta

8

566

451

TOTAL

49

1,726

1,140


Participants included: women sarpanches (presidents of village council), ward members and samity sabhyas, male PRI representatives, government officials, former elected women representatives, other NGO representatilves, journalists and local Members of the Legislative Assembly.

Elected women leaders were sensitized to be aware of their rights and roles in the PRI setup, including the need to empower themselves in order to control ‘proxyism.' The training module consisted of group discussions and interaction on topics such as: challenges for a woman PRI member and what women PRIs can do for their constituencies. The male PRI members were given topics on how they can help women elected women leaders overcome obstacles.

Since most of the participants were new entrants into the political process, the recognition they received when they were introduced individually instilled in them great confidence and pride to resolve to fulfill the responsibilities of office. Elected women leaders were greatly eager to attend meetings and workshops and to learn more about the PRI system and their roles in it.

Male family members of elected women leaders were found to be encouraging them in attending panchayat meetings and other duties. Some male participants were also found making a case against proxyism and were of the view that elected women leaders should take decisions according to their own understanding and wisdom.

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