National Commission for Women (NCW) and National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRD&PR) today announced collaboration to impart training to women Panchayat Pradhans and women members of the Panchayats as an effort to skill them in governance.
An MoU was signed in this regard as part of launch of foundation activities of NIRD&PR here which will focus on establishing partnership to take up activities for empowerment of women and training the elected women representatives of panchayats in particular.
The first phase of training will begin in six districts of Rajasthan covering over 9,000 women elected representatives followed by Jharkhand and Assam, NCW Chairperson Lalitha Kumaramangalam said, adding "As per the MoU, monitoring of this project will also be done."
The training to them covers academics of governance such as administration, conducting meetings, using Information Technology tools, understanding legal procedures and laws, she said.
"While working with women in general and specially women from rural regions, we realised that they are not part of the decision making process. What we found that most Panchayat leaders don't understand administration like accounting, reporting, liaison with various government offices, how to conduct meetings, understanding the laws etc... Hence, it is very difficult for them to participate in decision making," she said.
"Women have actually understood that when they can be successful Sarpanchs or members of the Panchayat they are given a lot more respect because they have decision making power," the NCW chief said.
Kumaramangalam said this is an effort to empower women to take their decisions and enable them to become contributing members of their own communities, and added the first round of training Training of Trainers (TOT) would start by this month end or December second week from Rajasthan.
She further said NCW is developing an App and the elected women representatives will be taught on how to use IT, things like construction of roads, toilets.
Beginning this financial year about Rs two lakh crore is going to be transferred directly to the Panchayats. Today 53 per cent Panchayat pradhans all over the country are women, she pointed out.
NIRD&PR Director General and PR W R Reddy said NCW has
developed training modules. "We will be using those modules and train the master trainers, who in turn will train the elected representatives at regional level in different clusters. This is basically a one-year programme and will be done in collaboration with Rajasthan government," he said.
"We expect to get into other activities also on field research and various other programmes like impact assessment," he added.
Later interacting with delegates at the event, Kumaramangalam, replying to a query on flexible working hours for women employees, said, "We are negotiating with CII, FICCI and also been talking with Commerce Ministry."
"On flexible working hours, we can't make a law. We have recommended for both government and private sector. But the demand has to come from the women themselves who work in those industries," she said.
Replying to another query on imposing prohibition, she said, "Alcoholism is more of a social disease. Agreed that government policies may help. The demand generally (for prohibition) has to come from community that is the best way through which it can addressed."
"Alcoholism in itself cannot be merely stopped or reduced by shutting down or restricting sale of liquor... there is a need for multi-pronged approach. Governments have a role to play but the community has an equally important role to play," she added.