Future Plans (Orissa, India)

Federation Building of Elected Women Leaders

Since the EWRs are found to be mostly uninformed about the processes, a federation of women leaders can help in sharing relevant experiences and disseminating vital information regarding their roles, responsibilities, powers and privileges, thus aiding in the training and capacity building of the EWRs.

Issues affecting women leaders in the panchayats can be highlighted in the federation by the members, who can then discuss and raise these issues before various stakeholders to work out viable solutions to them.

Similarly, alliance building with other women's organizations and local federations working on women's issues, SHGs, tribal women's organizations, and women's cooperatives can also be taken up to make the federation fully representative of all women within one Block.

Liaising with the government, media and other organizations will be easier when a federation of women representatives gets together and advocates their legal, political and democratic rights and seeks redress of issues affecting them.

Gram Sabha and Palli Sabha Mobilization

In order to inculcate leadership abilities and make the elected women leaders more decisive and functional, it has been proposed to follow up and ensure their full participation in the Palli Sabha and Gram Sabha.

Lack of information about the various schemes available at the panchayat level and lack of awareness of acts such as NREGS and RTI are still hindering much of the development works in the state. These issues can be taken up effectively at the Palli and Gram Sabha. It is planned to spread awareness around various schemes and the roles of elected women leaders in the development of their villages and then link their implementation to the Palli and Gram Sabha and the panchayat meetings.

Special awareness building will be taken up before and during the mandatory Palli Sabha, Gram Sabha and the panchayat meetings to encourage active participation of the EWRs. Palli Sabhas will be facilitated, especially for women as many women representatives are still inhibited from speaking in public gatherings. Their reluctance is also compounded by the prevailing social constraints in rural areas, which frown on women participating in meetings. Some of the street plays have also dwelt on this issue.