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Fourth Gender Samvaad Jointly Organized by DAY-NRLM and IWWAGE

Fourth Gender Samvaad serves as a powerful testament to the commitment of DAY-NRLM, IWWAGE, and their partners to combat gender-based violence and promote gender equality across India.

Shivam Dwivedi
Fourth Gender Samvaad Jointly Organized by DAY-NRLM and IWWAGE (Photo Source: PIB)
Fourth Gender Samvaad Jointly Organized by DAY-NRLM and IWWAGE (Photo Source: PIB)

The Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM), under the Ministry of Rural Development, partnered with the Institute for What Works to Advance Gender Equality (IWWAGE) to organized the fourth Gender Samvaad event.

This virtual gathering served as a significant platform for shedding light on DAY-NRLM's gender-focused initiatives throughout India, with a special emphasis on amplifying the voices of state representatives and self-help group (SHG) members.

The event, which drew more than 8000 participants, brought together key stakeholders, including senior officials from the Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Women and Child Development, and the Government of Bihar, along with practitioners, gender experts, academics, civil society activists, and SHG members.

Charanjit Singh, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Rural Development, expressed deep concerns about gender-based violence statistics. He underscored the pivotal role that community-based institutions can play in addressing this pressing issue. Furthermore, he stressed the importance of inter-ministerial collaboration, particularly with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the Ministry of Education, to raise awareness and promote sensitization regarding gender-based violence.

Smriti Sharan, Joint Secretary of DAY-NRLM, highlighted the extensive efforts made by DAY-NRLM to empower women and establish model institutions for addressing women's issues in rural areas, primarily through Gender Resource Centres. During the event, community resource persons (CRPs) from states like Jharkhand, Kerala, and Odisha shared their experiences with institutional strategies designed to combat gender-based violence. Smt. Rajani Dandasena from Odisha highlighted the impact of Prerna Kendra (Gender Resource Centres) at the Gram Panchayat level.

These centers have forged strong connections with various departments through Gender Forums, enabling them to effectively address cases of violence. The Gender Campaign launched in November 2022 has contributed significantly to raising awareness about gender-based violence, prompting public action and empowering women to address issues like Witch-hunting, drug abuse, and sexual violence.

Mahua Roy Chaudhary from Jeevika, Government of Bihar, emphasized the significance of gender training, innovative pedagogies, and the use of information, education, and communication (IEC) materials. These elements have paved the way for the creation of gender-responsive institutions, particularly Didi Adhikar Kendras, which are instrumental in addressing violence deeply rooted in patriarchal and societal norms.

She also emphasized the importance of political empowerment, with women assuming roles as ward members and mukhiyas in the state, ensuring the sustainability of these institutions in advancing women's empowerment. The event featured a panel discussion with participation from the Ministry of Women and Child Development, gender experts, and women's rights lawyers. The panel emphasized the importance of the State Rural Livelihoods Mission (SRLM) and its role in offering legal remedies, including fast-track courts, as well as comprehensive gender training for various stakeholders.

They stressed the need for inter-ministerial collaboration and multi-pronged strategies to tackle gender-based violence. Key points of discussion included innovative financing for sustainability, the creation of safe spaces for women, strengthening data-driven governance, and enhancing women's economic agency.

The conversation further highlighted the potential convergence between Naari Adalats under Mission Shakti and Gender Resource Centres under DAY-NRLM. Gender Samvaad 2023 concluded with a resounding call for collective action to address the core issues affecting women, focusing on prevention, convergence, and innovative local approaches to problem-solving.

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