India: Highlighting Women Leadership in Panchayatiraj Institution
The Hunger Project, a global organization working to build capacities of elected women representatives (EWRs), organized an Interface of Media with EWRs recently at Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Over 20 trained elected women representatives (EWRs) from the districts of Angul, Dhenkanal, Gajapati, Nuapada, Kalahandi and Khurda, and as many representatives from leading print and electronic media participated in this interface, and shared mutual experiences and views.
Assembled EWRs shared how they overcame myriad constraints to contest the recent panchayat elections. That in spite of persistent opposition by powerful groups they could still manage to win proves their popularity and peoples’ trust in them. The EWR Federations and Mahila Adhikar Samukhya in their respective areas have also supported their campaigns due to which they could muster enough courage to contest.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sukanta Mohapatra, Program Officer, The Hunger Project, shared about The Hunger Project’s objectives and strategies in the state since 2004, and how it’s various activities have helped create a strong cadre of women leaders in THP working areas in the state.
Ms.Litali Das, Program Associate, The Hunger Project, said the recent elections which saw women getting elected from more than 50% seats in THP working areas is testimony to the fact that people are slowly awaking to the positive outcomes of women in governance. Societal attitudes against women leaders is changing but there is need for a continuous sharing on women leaders’ achievements, so that the process can be speed up.