Gram Sabhas are units of our democracy which enable the voice of every citizen of a village to be heard. As women always have different sets of priorities in development – like food security, water, health, education – it becomes necessary to mobilize women to participate in large numbers in these Gram Sabhas to articulate their views and concerns.
[spoiler]THP interventions are designed to carry out systemic campaigns in the villages to achieve these objectives.
The issues raised by the elected women leaders in different states have varied depending on the context of the state. In Maharashtra, there is a notable change in women’s participation in Gram Sabha. The number is seen to be increasing after every Gram Sabha. The better fact is the women attending the Gram Sabha are seen to motivate the other women to join the Gram Sabha. The elected women leaders stressed the issues of health & hygiene, open defecation free campaign, water supply and transparency in the governance. Construction of toilets, schools and quality education, water supply and bore-well construction, selection of Asha (Accredited Social Health Activist), health and sanitation are some issues added by women to the agenda of Gram Sabha. Most of these issues receive positive reaction from the other members. Trained women members effectively questioned the allocation of only 10 per cent of the Panchayat budget for women and 15 per cent of Panchayat budget for Dalit community development. Women have also discussed liquor prohibition & housing schemes in the Gram Sabhas.