The Constitution of India envisages a discrimination-free India. Without ensuring gender equity and equal rights for women, social and developmental disparities cannot be eradicated.
Challenges to Gender Equity in the society
- Physical and mental violence towards women.
- Child marriage, Early marriage, Forced marriage.
- Trafficking of women for sex work and bonded labour,forced migration.
- Abuse of Disabled and Aged women and lack of support for their health,nutrition and social interaction.
- Lack of support to adolescent girls on education, health and nutrition.
- Lack of value for unpaid domestic work generally carried out by women.Globally women spend roughly three times the amount of time spent by men on unpaid work. In India it is 9.8 times that of men.
Local level development and local interventions are very important for addressing these disparities because social institutions at the local level are the key players in influencing the social practices which affect empowerment of women and girls. Local social networks also play an important role in addressing gender disparities through strategic interventions, disseminating new ideas and reforming governance practices for achieving desired results on gender equality.
As per the 11th Schedule of the 73rd amendment of the Constitution of India women and child development are among the subjects to be transferred to Panchayats.
|PROMOTE||Philosophy of Beti Bachao Beti Padhao|
|Awareness against gender discrimination|
|School enrollment and retention of girls.|
|Universal birth registration.|
|FACILITATE||Campaign to prevent child marriages, sex-selective abortions, trafficking of women and children.|
|Formation of Gram Samanvaya Samitis comprising grassroot level functionaries and women’s representatives from the community .|
|Gender status studies through a participatory exercise and dissemination of the results in Gram Sabhas.|
|Enrollment and attendance of all girl children to Anganwadis.|
|Women’s participate in economic activities like SHGs .|
|Poorna Shakti Kendras, the GP level one-stop centre for services for women.|
|ENSURE||Active inclusion and engagement of adolescent girls in livelihood and skill development programmes.|
|Access to basic facilities for women and children.|
|Registration and tracking of women and girls who are migrating.|
|Discriminatory and illegal practices like child marriage, female foeticide do not take place.|
|Women’s membership and participation in local development, committees, working groups and local governance.|
|EMPOWER||Girls to acquire higher education and technical skills .|
|Girls to enter the labour market.|
How do we begin to plan for gender equality in the Gram Panchayat?
What can our Gram Panchayat focus on while Planning for gender equity and women’s empowerment?
- Taking steps to ensure an end to all forms of discrimination against women and girls.
- Taking initiatives towards a safe village - No forms of violence against women and girls in the village.
- Ensuring equal wages for equal work.
- Ensuring equal participation of women in local governance and decision making.
- Ensuring that every girl and woman in the village has access to education and health services.
How do we set targets to achieve the goals?
If these are our goals, what are the specific things we should plan to achieve and by when? Can our Gram Panchayat plan for the following?
What can Gram Panchayat Do?
- Bring issues of gender disparity and violence to the attention of Panchayat Committees for action.
- Promote a gender status study or analyse the gender and development experience of last few years scope of intervention (undertake a Situational Analysis).
- Ensure continuous discussion and trainings for GP committee to promote attitudinal changes.
- Formation of a committee to carry out and follow the tasks prioritized towards gender equality.
- Facilitate a convergence meeting with different line departments/Agencies/community organizations involved in addressing gender issues.
- Promote campaigns to address various issues identified as goals and targets.
- Develop a monitoring mechanism for actions on gender issues .
Resources to look for
|National Mission for Empowerment of Women (NMEW)|
|Beti Bachao Beti Padhao|
|Janani Suraksha Yojana (JSY)|
|Rashtriya Bala Swasthya Karyakram|
|Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS)|
|Sukanya Samridhi Yojana (Girl Child Prosperity Scheme)|
|Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls (SABLA)|
|Swachh Bharat Mission|
|National Health Mission (NHM)|
|Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA)|
People to Support
ICDS supervisors, Anganwadi workers, School teachers, Health workers, ASHA,Local police, Lawyers, SHGs
Here is an example
Planning for eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls in the public and private spheres.
- Present the issues of different forms of violence against women in the Gram Sabha.
- Include the project in the Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP) by formation of a committee or Samiti to prevent and address violence against women and children.
- Conduct Gender Sensitization programmes at different levels .
- Launch of School based Gender desk and Counseling facilities.
- Form Community level vigilant group formation to address atrocities against women and children.
- Ensure the public places are safe and take protective measures .
- Registration and tracking of women and girls who is migrating from the locality for labour and other purposes.
- Ensure all migrations are recorded in the panchayat.
- Encourage local educational institutions to start skill development programmes for victims of violence.
- Create awareness in the community about laws and regulations related to atrocities against women and how to approach the authorities to address cases of atrocities.
- Ensure/organise Internal Complaints Committees in institutions where women working & establish link with Local Complaints Committees at district level and line departments.
How is this exercise linked to Sustainable Development Goals?
Sustainable Development Goal 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
The Universal Target
- End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.
- Eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.
- Eliminate all harmful practices such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
- Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate.
- Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision making in political, economic and public life.
Now look at the goals and targets set by your Gram Panchayat – you are contributing to the SDG goal and targets to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls!
Source : Handbook on Sustainable Development Goals and Gram Panchayats