I am happy to present our Annual Report 2013-2014. The backdrop for The Hunger Project‘s work during the past year was in a milieu where our work had a sharper focus on the new challenges and opportunities for empowering women and improving the lives of the communities they live in through their effective leadership. THP’s strategy has two broad thrusts – the first encompasses strengthening the capacities and leadership of elected women representatives in rural local governance; the second concentrates on building an enabling environment for them to function as effective leaders in grassroots’ governance. (click here to download the report)
Our knowledge of women’s roles in rural local governance and of the obstacles they face while getting elected was enriched further with the extensive ongoing pre-election campaigning through our SWEEP (Strengthening Women’s Empowerment through Electoral Processes) programme in Uttarakhand. With an objective to encourage women to contest from every seat, even beyond reservation, we supported to increasing the visibility of women in the entire electoral process – as citizens, voters, candidates, and electoral officers and agents.
We continued to play a critical role in support of the ‘National Coalition against Two-Child Norm and Coercive Population Measures’. Our field experiences have shown how the ‘Two-Child Norm’ is being misused to thwart the emergence of elected women representatives as effective leaders. Our support for the coalition is to endorse that imposition of the ‘Two-Child Norm’ on Panchayat representatives adversely affects the lives and health of women in rural India.
Women’s participation in politics has added a gender dimension to the hitherto male-dominated public offices in rural India, resulting in acts of violence against them as they assert their identities as women and as leaders. Given the magnitude of the problem, THP’s thrust was to continue with the campaign on the issue of violence against women (VAW) in the States where we work through the elected women representatives and their federations.
The Hunger Project has also carried out mass awareness campaigns against malnutrition in selected Panchayats in two states – Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. The campaigns that were spearheaded by elected women representatives spread awareness on malnutrition, linking it up with the larger issues of food security.
In efforts to lessen the evident gaps in bringing effective governance, The Hunger Project is continuing to develop innovative tools and expertise, and constantly measures the impact of interventions on women’s lives, families and communities in terms of their wellbeing, survival and dignity. Here, I would like to thank our supporters: UNDP, CORDAID, Forum Syd, Ribbink Van Den Hoek Foundation, The Asia Foundation, our investors from all parts of the world, and field partners without whom this work would not have been possible.
It is my honour to work with a dedicated team at the national level and the state teams spread over six offices in seven states of the country. It is this dedication that has allowed us to carry out various intensive interventions aimed at strengthening and deepening democracy, and investing in the transformative leadership of elected women representatives in rural local
governance towards addressing hunger, poverty and social justice. I thank them for all they do – and the people all around the world who support us in so many ways.
Global Vice President and Country Director, India