Om Siksha Samiti, partner organization of The Hunger Project organized 1 day women convention at Rampur Neikin on 11th February.355 women including 87 EWRs participated in the same. Women representatives shared their experiences during working in the Panchayats in which they demanded that administration stops playing negative and insensitive role, especially that in cases of section 40.Besides the members of block level federation of Sidhi, members from federations of Rewa, Satna and those of other women groups also joined the convention in solidarity. President of local Municipal Corporation, joint collector of Sidhi district and member of legislative assembly (MLA) graced the occasion. MLA promised the elected women representatives that he will raise the issue of review of section 40 to keep harassment of women representatives in check, in the next assembly session.
A women’s conference (yearly) was held at Ramvan in Satna district under the banner of ‘Rampur Baghelan EWR Block Level Federation’ on 24th March.350 women including 18 Sarpanchs, 48 Panchs, 50 men, 234 women from village level Sangathans(committees formed for pioneering advocacy work with strategic membership/intervention of members of EWR federation).
The objectives of this year’s conference were:
- Sharing of advocacy works done by EWR Federation, share village committee’s works
- Start the process of identifying potential women candidates and discussing major anticipated impediments in view of nearing Panchayat elections scheduled to be held in December, 2009
- The group passed the following resolutions unanimously: (1) Abolishing of section 40, a discriminatory part of Madhya Pradesh Panchayat Act to be a major plank of ensuing elections, (2) Demand for a special plan to keep anticipated violence against women candidates in Panchayat elections in check, from district administration, (3) To initiate strong advocacy for bringing in place a just honorarium and its timely disbursal for Panch and Sarpanch(village council leaders)(4) Opening of senior secondary school in certain Panchayats to check drop out rates of girls in higher education, (5) Better functioning of primary health centers and (6) Advocate for Government’s discussing the opening of industries in villages first with the concerned Panchayats and Gram Sabha before issuing order to that effect.