Women’s Empowerment Workshop in Delhi, India, October 20-21, 2003
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Women’s Empowerment in the context of local government in India: An assessment
A two-day, multi-disciplinary workshop, OCTOBER 20-21, 2003, New Delhi
Todayï¿½s development discourse, as articulated by governments, non-profit organizations, donors and the U.N., revolves around the term ï¿½empowermentï¿½ – ï¿½giving power to certain underprivileged sections of society.ï¿½ Yet there is much debate about the definition of this term, the means by which empowerment can be achieved and the methods by which it can be measured. The issue is particularly contentious when it comes to womenï¿½s empowerment.
In 1992-93, the Indian parliament passed the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments that unleashed a process of decentralization and democratic grassroots governance. One of the most striking features of these amendments was the provision for reserving not less than 33 per cent of seats for women at the local government level. As a result, an estimated 5 million women have entered local politics, directly or indirectly, in the last 10 years.
This process has had a wide ranging impact on womenï¿½s political, social and economic status, particularly at the village level in India. Women have encountered many obstacles that limit participation. Non-profit organizations, donors and government have been working to create an enabling environment for womenï¿½s participation in local government. They are also been studying the impact of the amendments on rural development, poverty alleviation, democratization, good governance, as well as gender equality.
The two-day, multi-disciplinary, ï¿½Womenï¿½s Empowermentï¿½ workshop will bring together the growing body of research, practice and knowledge that has evolved over the decade. This knowledge encompasses concepts, models and frameworks, research tools and methodology, impact measurement studies, and a wealth of data, about womenï¿½s empowerment within the context of the 73rd and 74th amendments. Participants will include NGOs and activists, academic and research institutions, donors and government.
The workshop is divided into four main panels: Concepts and Models of Empowerment, Measurement Tools and Methodologies, Micro studies and case studies from the field and Current Innovations and Future Strategies. There will be two evening events: Meet the elected women local government representatives and the screening of ï¿½Swarajï¿½ (The Little Republic) ï¿½ a feature film on the same theme. Full Agenda.
Venue: Institute of Social Sciences Auditorium, 8 Nelson Mandela Road, New Delhi.
Registration deadline for participants: July 30, 2003. Draft papers due by July 30th. Register early, as space is limited. The workshop is free and includes lunch. The organizers will not fund travel or accommodation for outstation participants. Registration Form.
This workshop is organized by the Institute of Social Sciences (ISS), New Delhi, in collaboration with South Asia Partnership (SAP) Canada, Ottawa and sponsored by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada.
To register as a participant or to submit a paper contact:
Ms. Veena Gokhale, SAP Canada, Email
Ph: 1-613-241-1333 ext. 231
Web site: www.sapcanada.org