STRENGTHENING THE ROLE OF WOMEN’S COLLECTIVES IN LOCAL GOVERNANCE AND DECISION MAKING IN NORTH EAST
It is not uncommon to find men in the position of decision maker. Be it the family, the local authority, government authority, et al., men by and large occupy the seats of power and decision making that actually matter. The situation somewhat gets amplified in societies that function in multilayered structure where customary laws of male dominance in governance is legalized.
WSDC as part of the network of Women in Governance (WinG), is committed to advocate the push for higher level of participation of women in decision making processes. In tribal areas where Panchayati Raj Institutes don’t exist, where customary male dominated structures of authority exist, WSDC with the help of Azim Premzi Philanthropic Initiatives (APPI) undertook this project as a chapter of WinG, Manipur to initiate the process of strengthening the role of women in local governance and decision making in Chandel District. In the two years of project implementation (2017-18 to 2018-19), amidst challenges of rigid tribal customary perceptions and practices, WSDC can in the least say that a conversation has been started; a foundation has been laid.
This project covered a numerous villages. The village authorities were all sensitized on the lost opportunity of not having women in the decision making processes. Women were encouraged and trained to present themselves confidently through speech and writing in order to take leadership positions in their community.