SUGRAMA organises women GP members convention
The enthusiasm was infectious as 320 gram panchayat women representatives from across the State gathered here on Wednesday morning to brainstorm about ways to clinch the forthcoming panchayat elections.
The need for raising awareness about violence against women and the demand for fast-track courts for women in the State were challenges ahead of the them, said women said at the convention which was organised by SUGRAMA, a federation of elected women’s representatives in the State.
“Most women in villages take domestic abuse for granted,” said one of the women members at the convention.
“Tackling gender violence was a major issue on the agenda,” said Padmini Ananth, director, SUGRAMA.
The federation tries to reach out to women on the ground, raise awareness about the abuse they may face and attempts to find ways to counsel them with the help of existing helplines. SUGRAMA also conducts a 16-day campaign during November and December regarding violence against women.
Among the various issues enumerated in their manifesto issued during the convention include the constitution of gender budget cells at all taluk and district government offices.
Members demanded that 33 per cent reservation for women be made available in State Assemblies and Parliament.
“In many of the villages, women are not given enough space or a prominent role to play in the gram panchayats,” Ms. Ananth pointed out.
But, working as a collective, a group is able to address such issues more effectively, she said.