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Women panchayat pradhans undergo training

[UNI] DEHRA DUN, AUG 6: `Pragati,’ a unique all women’s organisation in the Doon Valley, is making concerted efforts to enable newly elected women pradhans of panchayats in Uttaranchal region to function efficiently.

A four-day intensive training programme was organised recently by `Pragati’ (Panchayati Rule and Gender Awareness Training Institute) in the Doon Valley to facilitate women leaders to address women’s concerns in panchayats.

Acceptance of the fact that problems of women are different from those of men and require to be treated differently was the focus of the training programme organised by Pragati under the aegis of the Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra (RLEK), its parent organisation.

Twenty five representatives of Gram panchayats from various districts of Garhwal were trained by six trainers of Pragati namely Swapna Sengupta, Bindu Kalia, Manisha Panwar, Neharika, Sumona Ganguly, Rekha and Sangeeta Prasad.

The training enhanced the awareness of the participants about issues concerning women at the Panchayat level. A lot of attention was given to problems of health faced by women in hill villages. It emerged during the programme that reproductive health was a major cause for concern.

The status of women labourers in panchayat areas and incidents of violence on women were also discussed by the participants in the presence of the trainers `Mirch Masala’ and `Mrityudand,’ two Hindi feature films, were also screened for the participants to make them aware of the rights of women gender issues were discussed at great length during the workshop. Roles given to women by nature and those imposed on them by society were clarified by the trainers. Exercises to bring out self- assertiveness were carried out at the sessions which included those on women and development, women and health, and government schemes for women and children.