UN Women South Asia Regional office (SARO) has
entered into an agreement with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign affairs for “Promoting
Women’s Political Leadership and Governance in India and South Asia”. The programme
has three main components (i) Capacity building of the Elected Women Representatives;
(ii) Evolving a Centre of Excellence and (iii) Building research partnerships.
In India, the importance of capacity building of
women in local bodies, to build women’s political leadership from the grassroots
is imperative for enhancing their effective participation in governance. In this
context, and in order to achieve results envisaged by the above mentioned program,
UN Women SARO has signed a Project Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with the National
Institute of Rural Development (NIRD&PR), GoI. The NIRD&PR and the UN Women, South Asian
Regional Office have signed an MoU to be partners of a joint venture aiming at gender
equality and gender responsive governance in India and South Asia and to set up
a South Asian Regional Centre of Excellence . The project on “Promoting Women’s
Political Leadership and Gender Responsive Governance in India and South Asia” is
an initiative under a major project of Gender Responsive Governance Programme, initiated
together with the Royal Governance of Norway and the Govt. of India. The Programme
was formally launched by the Honourable Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati
Raj, ShriC.P.Joshi on 19th of November 2010. The Director General, NIRD&PR Shri Mathew.
C. Kunnumkal participated in the programme and gave an outline of the works that
will be carried out from NIRD&PR as part of the project.
The signing in Ceremony for the project on Promoting
Women’s “Political Leadership and Gender Responsive Governance in India and South
Asia” between the UN Women and the NIRD&PR was held on 16th November,2010 at NIRD&PR.
The signing in Ceremony was chaired by Shri Mathew. C. Kunnumkal, Director General
of NIRD&PR. The Standard Letter of Agreement was signed by Ms Anne Stenhammer, Regional
Programme Director, UN Women, SARO andDr.M.V.Rao, Deputy Director General, NIRD&PR.
The activities of NIRD&PR in the coming three
years under the UN Women - NIRD&PR partnership will enable and empower women elected
representatives to perform more effectively and efficiently as pro-active leaders
of local governance. The project proposes to start initially with the interventions
of training material development and intensive capacity building in a cascading
manner in selected six states- Karnataka, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya
Pradesh and Bihar. The NIRD&PR will identify the training needs of the elected women
representatives and PRIs and build a training team in NIRD&PR and the six states to
handle the required capacity building at different levels for strengthening the
institutions of local governance. The project further envisages institutionalizing
the project gains through the establishment of a South Asian Regional Centre of
Excellence for Women in Politics.