UNDP enhancing women’s role and participation in governance
India has more women elected representatives than all other countries put together and now with the parliamentary representation of women going up to 10 percent in the just concluded nation-wide election, efforts to help women lead socio-political change seem to be bearing fruits.
Sulochana Mulgi is an elected representative of Manedi Panchayat in Bidar district of the southern Indian state of Karnataka. But she never felt like a leader until some time ago. “The secretary of the Panchayat and the junior engineer used to mock me with questions they knew I did not have the answers to whenever I used to try to speak in a meeting,” she says.
“But now I question their work. They are accountable to me,” says Sulochana who underwent a training supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with others including the government’s Ministry of Panchayati Raj. Shobhasani Saran, an elected representative from eastern Indian state of West Bengal, says she is no longer a mere puppet in the system. “I no longer sign blank cheques; I keep track of all the money.