Strengthening elected women’s leadership

Our Approach

Advancing Elected Women As Key Change Agents In Gram Panchayats

Our interventions aim to comprehensively expand the ability of elected women representatives to exercise their mandate for the democratic development of their panchayats, ensuring basic human rights for all. THP India strongly recognises that women’s active participation in the panchayat administration has been a powerful way to articulate not only their rights as citizens but also standing up for their communities. The programme enables them to understand the patriarchal structure within which they function on the one hand. At the same time, elected women are equipped with tools and skills that empower them to create equitable access to public services by superior utilisation of resources. The programme is committed to pathways that strengthen practices of good governance, accountability and transparency in gram panchayats.

Our Key Focus Areas
Core programme strategy

Strengthening Women’s Leadership

Our core programme strategy clearly reflects its mandate of bolstering the participation of elected women representatives by strengthening their leadership capacities and advocating for an enabling environment within which they are able to make informed decisions in their tenure.

  • Empower

    Empowered Leaders

    Building capacities, skills and knowledge.

  • Empower

    Enabling Environment

    Creating support structures – jagruk manch and federations – as spaces for co-learning and collective action.

  • Empower

    Critical Spaces

    Advocacy with state governments, local administration and media.

  • Empower

    Intergenerational Dialogue

    Leveraging the role of elected women to empower adolescent girls.

Empowering Adolescent Girls and Advancing Rights

The overall programme is embedded in the governance framework.

The adolescent girls’ programme critically engages on the root causes of child, early and forced marriage and how to make governance more responsive to the rights of adolescent girls, guaranteeing gender justice, and ensuring an enabling environment for girls to exercise their voice and agency in making informed decisions about their lives. Together, elected women leaders and adolescent girls are mobilised and their capacities are built in accessing rights and entitlements in the domain of health, education, social protection, legal remedies, livelihoods and skill building. The intervention, in other words, enables adolescent girls, in partnership with elected women representatives, to engage as active citizens.

In 2015, THP India embarked upon a small-scale but critical intervention with adolescent girls in gram panchayats. It stemmed out of constructive dialogue and partnership with the American Jewish World Service (AJWS). The spotlight was put on the needs and challenges faced by adolescent girls in Rajasthan and Karnataka. Subsequently, the programme was extended to Bihar with support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in 2016.

The strategy designed situates the specific interventions within THP India’s core local governance framework, which is to build the leadership of the elected women representatives in addressing distinct distinct needs of adolescent girls, especially looking at the harmful practice of child marriage. In addition, leadership workshops and life skills trainings are conducted with girls thus supporting girls to emerge as active citizens in their communities.

Empower Girls
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