Preparing women to contest election

University to host training programme

 The project ‘Enhancing the role of women in strengthening democracy’ is being carried out in association with the Centre for Social Research (CSR), New Delhi, in the country, aiming to create a ‘critical mass’ of around 1,000 women who will be motivated to contest the elections thereby erasing the deep-rooted gender bias in Indian politics. The three-day programme is the last leg of the training where about 35 women who have been shortlisted from 14 districts in the State will take part.

In fact, the responsibility of identifying women leaders in Karnataka has been entrusted to the International Study Centre, University of Mysore and Mahila Samakhya, a non-governmental organisation in Bangalore. Speaking to Deccan Herald, Centre Director Dr Indira who is carrying out the project said that the training will be interactive than top-down method. Programmes like Naari Adalat, a mock court conducted by women to address the issues of women, an interaction with the media to help them know the nuances of handling the media questions as a politician and group discussions are the part of the three-day event. “This will not be a regular lecture session,” she asserted. The participants will have a guidance from Dr Radhakrishnan Pillai, consultant with the CSR.

She further said that Mahila Samakhya has already conducted this training session and this programme will see participants from districts like Chitradurga, Ramnagar, Chikmagalur, Dakshina Kannada, Davanagere, Hassan, Kodagu, Mandya, Mysore, Shimoga, Tumkur, Udupi, Uttar Kannada and Haveri.

Although the 33 per cent reservation for women is implemented in local and urban bodies, it is not yet a cake walk for women in State assembly and parliament. And the bill is still pending in the Parliament for nearly a decade now, which clearly reflects the mindset of the society that snubs the active participation of women in politics, she remarked. The vacuum of active women representation in the State and national politics would be bridged by this project, as the selected women will not only be trained but will also be motivated to contest elections and guided to have good leadership skills.

DH News Service

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