Governance and Gender in South Asia
This resource centre combines on-line the papers and reports generated by the Daughters of Democracy Program and other SAP Canada programs which discuss the challenges and advances of local governance and gender in South Asia.
A Case for Affirmative Action Women form more than 50 per cent of the South Asian population, yet their representation at the different levels of government is very low. This factsheet by Indrani Ray-Ghosal explains the reasons for this, measures taken to change the situation and what needs to be done in the future.
Diverse Women influence the City of Ottawa City for All Women Initiative is an innovative one-year project, in Ottawa, that tries to build the capacity of diverse women, to ensure their greater participation in the decision-making process of local government. Read a paper by Suzanne Doerge.
This presentation on Canadian’s women’s political participation, and the efforts of Equal Voice to get more women in politics and create an awareness about the issue, was made at the “South Asia Regional Fourm on Women and Governance: Focus on Local Government,” held in Dhaka, Bangladesh, July 12-14, 2004. Kokila Jacob was one of three Canadian delegates who attended the Forum.
Joan Lougheed, City and Regional Councillor Burlington and Halton Region, Ontario, Canada, and Chair of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Women’s Committee made a presentation on the status of women in politics, in Canada, at the Gender and Governance Forum in Dhaka, Bangladesh in August 2004. This file is in power point format.
This was a tremendous experience In July 2004, SAP Canada took three Canadian women to the South Asia Regional Forum on Women and Governance: Focus on Local Governance in Bangladesh. Bauni Mackay and Kokila Jacob tell their stories here.
Sharmini Fernando writes about this lively panel. Held in Toronto, the panel consisted of four South Asian women from academic, NGO and activist backgrounds. They presented on experiences of political participation for women in India, Sri Lanka and South-Asian Canadian and immigrant women in Canada.
March 5, 2004, Ottawa City Hall: The seminar on “Women Decision-Making: A Cross-Cultural Linkage, Learning and Celebration” provided an opportunity to discuss and explore some of the innovations, successes and barriers for women involved in local governance in both India and Canada. By Victoria Walker, SAP Canada.
1500 elected women’s representatives call for increased quotas for women in government A report from the Institute of Social Sciences, Delhi of the lively 3-day workshop to celebrate the passing of 73rd and 74th Amendments in India which reserved 33 percent seats in local government for women.
Reforms in India designed to give women at all levels of society a stronger voice in grassroots government are accomplishing what they set out to do, says a worker with South Asia Partnership Canada. By Dave Sulz, Lethbridge Herald.
A report of six-city Canadian tour making links between women and governance issues in India and Canada From March 11-22, 2004, Canadians in Windsor, Edmonton, Calgary, Lethbridge, Regina and Winnipeg heard from South Asia Partnership Canada, Canadian NGOs and women politicians and political candidates, on Indian and Canadian women’s efforts to enter the male-bastion of governance. Here is a report of the tour. By Veena Gokhale, SAP Canada.
Municipal councillor Patricia Pinto describes her experiences and observations of women and local governance in Canada.
India ISS and SAP Canada report on “Women’s Empowerment in the context of local government in India: an assessment.” The workshop was held October 20-21, 2003 in Delhi, India. Here we present the workshop report, followed by some of the papers presented and related papers.
This paper, by Bidyut Mohanty and Vandana Mahajan, traces the evolution in the theories about women’s empowerment to the present and situates Indian women’s political empowerment at the local level within this context.
“State Initiatives in Gender Empowerment: A study of Uttar Pradesh” looks at women’s status in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, including their political participation, situating it within the context of national policies and schemes for women’s empowerment in India and the Human and Gender Development Index developed by the UNDP. By Artee Agarwal.
“Against the Notion of ‘PROXIES’: A methodological critique of the widely applied PROXY — Terminology to describe and explain women’s failure to become politically active despite the 33% women’s reservation.” The title of this paper says it all! By Ms. Stefanie Strulik.
“Women and Governance: Re-imagining the State: Micro Study on Obstacles and Factors Mediating Women’s Political Participation” written by Ms. Rekha Bezboruah and presented by Dr. Chandra Rani Akhouri, was based on a research study in selected North India states. How women understand governance, politics, government and the state, were among the subjects of enquiry. This study was part of a larger regional study coordinated by the Colombo-based International Centre for Ethnic Studies.
This paper, by Professor B.S. Baviskar, aims to describe the process of women’s participation in local governance, assessing its significance and trying to analyze the impact of this process on rural Indian society.
The main objective of the research presented in “Women’s Participation in Panchayati Raj — Case Study of Gurgaon District in Haryana,” is to analyse the nature and efficacy of participation of women members of the Panchayat Raj Institutions, with specific reference to the Gurgaon district in the North Indian state of Haryana. By Pamela Singla.
Synergistic Linkages “Women’s Participation in Self-Help Groups and in Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), Suggesting Synergistic Linkages,” critically examines whether women’s participation in micro-credit groups can lead to political participation and empowerment. By Dr. Joy Deshmukh-Ranadive.
“Women Elected Representatives in Kerala (1995-2000): From Symbolism to Empowerment,” presented by Dr. Thomas Isaac in the workshop, looks in-depth at the evolution of women’s political participation in local government, in the South Indian state of Kerala. In Kerala, specific measures were taken to devolve power to the local government through the People’s Plan and to introduce gender equity into this process. For an explanation of the People’s Plan process please refer to Dr Thomas Issac’s presentation in the workshop report. By T.M Thomas Isaac, T.N. Seema and Smitha Gupta.
This paper, by K.N. Vijayanthi, highlights innovative strategies adopted in a demonstration project on “Participatory poverty reduction and control of diarrhoeal diseases through improved water supply and sanitation”, implemented in five slum areas of Chennai city. The project aimed to create an enabling framework to stimulate bottom-up community planning, cooperation and convergence between stakeholders, NGOs and community-based organizations and the community. It helped to create a community structure called Community Development Society and led to the empowerment of women, which has reduced poverty in crucial areas that were hindering the quality of life in various ways. HTML
Tribal Women’s Participation in Madhya Pradesh By Abha Chauhan. The presence and participation of tribal women in panchayati raj institutions have brought about a formidable change in their position within the tribal social organization, as well as in the overall hierarchical structure of the Indian society, leading towards their empowerment. This paper looks at tribal women’s participation in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, and the legal framework within which it occurs.
Sixty people converged at the “Women’s Empowerment in the Context of Local Government in India” workshop in New Delhi on October 20-21, 2003. Topics of discussion included “proxy” women representatives,gender-based budgeting, empowering women in panchayats and women’s understanding of governance. By Veena Gokhale, SAP Canada.
Women’s Political Empowerment Day Celebrations with the Institute of Social Sciences in New Delhi, India.
Civil Society and Municipal Government: Making a Difference in Today’s India. Patricia Pinto from the southeastern Indian state of Goa speaks about her involvement in the People’s Movement for Civic Action and the Goa Environment Federation. Activities discussed range from the campaign for a plastic-free Goa to being a female city councillor to municipal-civil society relations.
Daughters of the 73rd Amendment with Dr. Bidyut Mohanty, Institute for Social Sciences, New Delhi. As part of SAP Canada’s India Linkage program, Dr. Mohanty lectured across Canada about the impact of a constitutional amendment that reserves seats for women candidates on the local government level.