Kernataka’s women panchayat leaders unite for good governanceMay 27th, 2009 - 5:35 pm ICT by IANS
Bangalore, May 27 (IANS) Over 600 elected women leaders of villages across Karnataka’s 21 districts gathered in this IT hub Wednesday to launch Sugrama - a unique federation to secure their rights and further the interests of the rural communities that they serve.
“This is history in the making. Sugrama becomes the first federation, not only in India but South Asia, to focus on the rights and interests of women panchayat leaders,” Rita Sarin, country director of The Hunger Project, told a packed auditorium at the inaugural function.
Sugrama is facilitated by The Hunger Project, in collaboration with Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SKL) International and Swedish Institute for Public Administration (SIPU).
“The idea of Sugrama is to empower elected gram panchayat women representatives and bring about gender justice and equality in the society,” said Sarin.
“By empowering the elected women representatives, we want to collectively advocate and practice good governance for the overall development of gram panchayats,” she added.
It took almost three years for The Hunger Project, along with its partners, to give shape to Sugrama.
SIPU is a Swedish consultancy and training organisation specialising in public service development and reform, whereas SKL International was established to safeguard the interest of Swedish local and regional authorities and has contributed significantly to this state of affairs.
“This is your organisation and you have to ensure its sustainability. I am confident that the federation has strong women members who are responsible and will help to bring social equality and justice in the grassroot level,” said Paul Dixelius, director of SKL International.
Hans Norgren, director of SIPU, said: “This is a unique association and I am hopeful that powerful women leaders from Karnataka’s grassroots will bring positive development in the villages of the state.”
Sugrama has 22 steering committee members from 21 districts. These 22 members represent block level federations in their own districts. Seven office bearers have also been elected to execute the work of Sugrama.
Together, the steering committee members and office bearers prepared the special manifesto of the federation, including its various by-laws and clauses.
“Elected women panchayat leaders of Karnataka want to bring about real change. We want to ensure water, electricity, sanitation, education and food security in the villages,” said Sugrama president Renuka, who represents Gowribidanur block of Chickballapura district.
“As women representatives, we face challenges in the form of gender and social injustice, lack of information and knowledge and a supportive and safe environment to work in. With the coming of Sugrama we are confident of getting a platform where the members will support each other in bringing change and facing challenges,” said Sugrama vice-president S. Nagarthna, who represents Dodballapur taluk in Bangalore Rural district.
Some of the key points in the manifesto of Sugrama to be followed in a year are to encourage elected women representatives to be active and effective panchayat leaders, support elected women representatives in addressing challenges, assess the impact of state policies on gram panchayats and undertake advocacy in the interest of the members, disseminate information and advise on panchayati raj institutions to the members, address issues of social and gender injustice and ensure Sugrama remains financially sustainable.
- 'India making progress on women's political empowerment' - Mar 17, 2012
- Karnataka women seek 50 percent quota in local bodies - Dec 20, 2009
- UN to help empower elected women in Karnataka - Sep 14, 2011
- Meeting Obama was proud experience for woman panchayat leader (Lead) - Nov 09, 2010
- Woman panchayat leader shares experience with Obama - Nov 09, 2010
- BJP's high-stakes gamble in Karnataka panchayat polls - Dec 21, 2010
- Over 70 percent polling in Kerala civic elections (Lead) - Oct 25, 2010
- Meeting Obama was memorable experience for woman panchayat leader (Second Lead) - Nov 09, 2010
- Kerala set for local bodies polls in October - Sep 19, 2010
- Empowering children to tackle their problems themselves - Nov 14, 2011
- PM lauds high turnout at Kashmir panchayat polls - Apr 24, 2011
- Over 16,000 women in Haryana to get a fighting chance - May 17, 2010
- District polls results Tuesday may impact Karnataka politics - Jan 03, 2011
- Nomination process begins for Kashmir panchayat polls - Mar 23, 2011
- 'Time to mobilise voice of South Asian women' - Mar 14, 2012
Tags: country director, equality and justice, first federation, gender justice, good governance, gram panchayat, gram panchayats, grassroot level, hunger project, inaugural function, local authorities, norgren, organisation specialising, powerful women, regional authorities, social equality, strong women, swedish association, swedish consultancy, women leaders