Dynamics of women participation in local governance has received intense scrutiny since the Constitutional Amendment in 1992. Many emphasised on training women technically; despite successes in creating able women leaders, violence towards women needs multi-layered investigation.
Women leaders in the panchayat need to collectively work to increase access to micro finance. A united forum with representatives of self help groups can develop livelihood and micro credit plans and seek the support of banks for funds.
Reservation alone does not suffice meaningful participation of elected women representatives. This initiative needs to be complemented by providing space and opportunities for the women leaders to discharge their duties and exercise their power. In addition, a platform is required for women to voice their needs. A mahila gram sabha is one such platform in the planning and decision making process.
A powerful support structure through a women leaders’ network, to build an alliance, conscientize leader groups towards women-centric issues and orient the elected women representatives to the methods of tackling problems is imperative.
The process of collecting census data in India has been riddled with gaps in gender data specifically pertaining to women’s contribution to India’s economic activity and female work participation rate. This paper traces gaps persistent in the Census since 1971 along with changes accomplished in 2011.
The 2011 provisional figure for the sex ratio in the age group 0-6 (CSR) is a mixed bag of hope and despair. While on one hand the tempo with which CSRs were becoming skewed in favour of boys over the last two decades has slowed down and the worst areas have shown some improvement, on the other, there is rapid spread of low CSRs to regions well beyond the traditional strongholds known for discriminatory practices towards girls. A combination of factors responsible for such spread demand contextualised short and long term interventions.
Forging an organic connection between nature and women has an inadvertent outcome - some issues become women’s issues and are either sidelined in the planning process or are seen as the exclusive domain of women, without proper understanding of entrenched power asymmetries between men and women.
Several scholars have suggested that there is intrinsic affinity between women and nature and both are subordinated by patriarchal processes, women by men and nature by culture – an ideological position known as ecofeminism. Although powerfully argued, such formulation inadequately addresses division of gendered labour within households that assign tasks such as collection of water, free fodder, fuel etc. sourced essentially from natural environs by women. It is the survival dependence on nature added by persistent social conditioning that nurture and care is what they embody, make women care for nature more. Water provides a good case for suggesting an alternative way of looking at the issue in a pragmatic manner.
The need for gender justice Developing countries have identified climate change as a phenomenon linked closely to development. It is apparent that poorer countries and moreover the poor and vulnerable in such countries are the ones that are going to be affected adversely. The National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) in India states further that climate change has different effects on women and men, that the impacts of climate change could prove particularly severe for women and special...