CSR to train 100 women leaders through UN project

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New Delhi, Jan 10 (UNI) With political parties dragging their feet on the Women Reservation Bill, a civil rights organisation has come forward to ''build women leaders'' and train them for an active role in the electoral arena through a United Nations project.

Under the UNDEF project titled ''Enhancing the role of women in strengthening democracy'', the Centre for Social Research will impart training to 100 marginalised women through a three tier programme to enable them to participate in state and national electoral politics.

''Initially, the leadership quality in women will be enhanced by motivating and preparing them to contest assembly and Lok Sabha polls, the second step will be to lobby with parties for the passage of the Women's Reservation Bill and finally the learnings from the project will be shared with South Asian partners to build a strong foundation for democracy in South Asia,'' the organisation said.

Women have faced dicrimination in the country and need to develop their skill and understand the dynamics of the political process, CSR Director Ranjana Kumari said.

''Women have proved time and again that whenever the need arises they are able to stsnd tall and be as good leaders as men...It is essential to train more women as well as encourage the ones who are successful at local level to enter state assemblies and Parliament,'' she said.

The participant women would be drawn from across the country with proportional regional representation and special emphasis would be given to women in panchayati raj and training for leadership building among women from the Scheduled and Backward castes would be undertaken, Ms Kumari added.

''Once the pool of trained women is made, the political parties will be informed of it...key parties will also be encouraged to make voluntary quotas within the outfits to ensure gender balance.'' The representation of women in assemblies and Parliament is very low, she said and emphasised the need to lobby for the passage of the Bill providing 33 per cent reservation for women.

UNI RR RL AS1857

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