The workshop aimed to ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic and public life, as mentioned in Sustainable Development Goals 5 and Target 5.5.
Institutions, government officials, elected representatives and NGO representatives deliberate upon the various pathways that will help strengthen women’s full and active participation in political processes contributing to the overall goal of gender equality.
Speaking on the occasion Usha Sharma, Chief Secretary, Government of Rajasthan stressed the need to build the capacity of women Panchayat Representatives for greater empowerment. “There is a lot of change at ground level, though, we still hear names like Sarpanch Pati and Ward Pati. Today we have women who have made changes in society and can be the torch bearers for others. We need to build their capacity to ensure proper coordination between the elected representatives and government officials,” she added.
Speaking on the occasion noted activist, Dr. Aruna Roy claimed that the government should ensure that women representatives have constitutional, legal and governance literacy for proper functioning. “They should also be equipped with the knowledge to conduct proper gram sabha meetings that should have proper deliberation and participation of all,” she added.
“In Rajasthan, there are more than 50 per cent women representatives in PRIs, which indicates that women are now winning in wards that were not reserved for them. This offers a significant opportunity to invest in processes and approaches that can support identifying pathways to further expand the circle of active women leaders at all levels of governance, particularly in the Panchayati Raj Institutions,” said Isabelle Bardem, Chief, UNICEF Rajasthan office.
“The 73rd Amendment to the Constitution of India in 1992 mandates that resources, responsibility and decision-making power get devolved at the grassroots level to people through their elected Panchayati Raj Institutions,” she added.
Speaking at the event Naveen Jain, Secretary, Panchayati Raj informed that the women panchayat leaders coming from across the state have made significant changes in their communities and area. He pointed out that the main aim of the Panchayati Raj system is to ensure that political power reaches the grassroots level. “Rajasthan has been at the forefront of women empowerment, and we would keep on striving for it,” said Jain.
Government officials from various departments, NGO representatives and elected women representatives from across the state gave their inputs for larger women's participation in the political system.