The Hunger Project-India strengthens women’s leadership across seven states through active engagement of Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) and their federations. In their recent report to our Global Board, the team shared how their influence is growing nationwide.
Thanks to successful Strengthening Women’s Leadership in the Electoral Process (SWEEP) campaigns as well as conventions of federations of elected women, The Hunger Project’s role as a national expert on women’s political participation is growing. As a result, the trained Elected Women Representatives with whom we work are being called upon to provide input on state-level policies and amendments. This year, The Hunger Project-India was also invited to write a chapter on the national evaluation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
Here are some more 2014 Highlights:
To empower women leaders and their communities, The Hunger Project supports the formation of federations among their elected leaders. The Hunger Project-India hosted state-level federation meetings, bringing together hundreds of Elected Women Representatives from 13 blocks of eight districts in Rajasthan. Conventions offer a platform for experience sharing and the solidification of priorities such as stopping open defecation, constructing toilets for women, sanitation and clean water, quality education for girls and stopping child marriages.
Influencing Public Opinion
The Hunger Project-India continuously engages with the media to highlight both successes and challenges that Elected Women Representatives face. In Odisha, The Hunger Project-India held six media workshops in which 65 local media representatives participated and interacted with the 155 Elected Women Representatives. These workshops serve as a means to challenge existing stereotypes of women in elected leadership roles.
Building Alliances for Advocacy and Action
Elected Women Representatives in Rajasthan and Karnataka were invited to present suggestions for amendments to the Panchayati Raj Acts in each state, including demanding for the removal of Two-Child Norm in Rajasthan. The inclusion of Elected Women Representative issues and perspectives into the Indian Congress Party’s manifesto was a significant achievement. It is a testament to the skilled advocacy efforts by Elected Women Representatives throughout India.
For the past two years, The Hunger Project-India has been involved in the preparation of the Alternate Report to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), an India country review led by a National Alliance of Women’s Rights organizations. The Hunger Project-India contributed specifically to the chapter on Article 7–which directly addresses discrimination against women in the political and public life of the country, ensuring women equal terms with men in voting, becoming elected and developing public policies. This chapter was featured in the final report presented to the CEDAW committee in June 2014. The Hunger Project-India also presented on the chapter, delivering a situational analysis along with recommendations made directly to the CEDAW committee.