Federation-building Workshops

By the third year of the election term, EWRs have begun exercising their role as political representatives in voicing concerns and implementing alternatives for development. Despite this, they continue to be confronted with the stigma of being public figures and as a result face resistance and apathy from family members, community members, other elected representatives, police, administrative officials and the media. Federation-building workshops (FBWs) are organised with an objective of enabling elected women to understand the power of collective action. Federations of EWRs are not interest groups but groups that take up concerns of advocacy around issues that enhance their position and status as elected representatives, on the rights of elected representatives, as well as on issues that they perceive as priorities for holistic development. Federations have initiated advocacy for regular honorarium; timely and regular Gram Sabha; improved access to development schemes and programmes; amendments to gender-insensitive policies such as the two-child norm; against cultural norms such as sex-selective abortion and gender-based violence. These advocacy issues again expand the notion of development to include concerns perceived as personal. Some of the advocacy also includes larger policy amendment. An example of this is advocacy for 50% reservation for women in Panchayats in Karnataka. Federations of elected women engage with State and non-State agencies till the end of their election term to achieve some of the goals they had developed for themselves.

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