NMC, Equi-City organise workshop on Gender Empowerment for elected representatives

The main aim of the workshop was to make clear the concepts of elected representatives particularly on laws and various departments working for Gender Bias issues

As part of the Capacity Building exercise, Equi-city Team along with Nagpur Municipal Corporation held a training workshop on Gender Empowerment and Gender Issues for the elected representatives of the City. The workshop was conducted at Town Hall, Mahal, Nagpur. The Chief Guest for the Workshop was the Mayor of Nagpur, Mrs. Nanda Jichkar. Other special guests includedDeeprajPardikar, Dy. Mayor Nagpur, MaheshDhamecha, Asst. Commissioner, GAD, NMC Nagpur andTanajiWanve, Opposition Leader. The Chief Guest was welcomed by the Equi-city team member, ShekharGiradkar of AIILSG who gave a welcome speech discussing the Equi-city project and also the various problems related to Gender Bias issues in and around the city. He also focused on the purpose of the workshop which was to find solutions to the problem of Gender Sensitivity in the city. The major aim of the workshop was to make clear the concepts of elected representatives particularly on laws and various departments working for Gender Bias issues in the system.

The Chief Guest then addressed the participants, thanking the Equi-cityteam for arranging the workshop and focused upon the problems faced by the women ward members and their displeasure due to the society’s stringent rules and regulations which affect their normal way of work. She also added that women now have a chance of representation in local governance due to various schemes and reservation; hence they should take the chance to work in this sphere while thinking beyond the walled boundaries of their homes.

The workshop was divided into three sessions majorly focussing on the Introduction to Laws, Social and Psychological aspects, and Diet and Health requirements for women.

Session 1

Tejaswini Khade, President, Family Court, Nagpur, addressed the audience and briefed them about laws relating to women rights. The Expert focused on constitutional rights of women and men, and explained that they are equally distributed to both. The expert also focused on the constitutional aspects and society’s views on women’s rights. Article 15-3 states that “nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for women and children” and accordingly the expert also talked about the various schemes and policies for women and children.

The expert spoke about the current scenario of women and differentiated it on the basis of their generation and their awareness in particular to the topic of Gender Empowerment. Further adding to it she also said that women in earlier times were not allowed to work in any economic, political or cultural activities/events, which is not the case these days.

The session further focussed on the gender justice and women empowerment laws, by the Constitution of India, with a particular focus on domestic violence laws and victim compensation schemes of Maharashtra state. She spoke on criminal laws and women’s rights under criminal law. Personal laws were also discussed pertaining to religion, caste, etc. considering the society’s point of view on Women Empowerment and the effect of media along with the activities prevailing in and around the city. She quoted the Gender Gap Index,and India’s position therein. Later there was a question and answer session, during which the expert clarified issues related to various laws, schemes and grievances of the ward members in overcoming issues related to gender bias problems.

Session 2

Dr. Urmila Khirsagar, Nirmay Bahudessia Sewa Sanstha, Nagpur spoke on social aspects of gender issues. The expert highlighted the facts and issues of gender bias in relation to society. She stated that women were generally considered as the not so dominant part of society in cases of violence, corruption, and other related issues. The issues of women in the field were discussed such as working at night, balancing work and home especially for women ward members. Then the session talked about the various gender issues found in the local areas and city by the ward members and how these could be tackled.

The speaker pointed out the pressure on ward members due to society and lack of awareness among women. The session was summed up saying that the women have to play different roles which makes them unique in a way but they are always subjected to pressure due to society and their own thinking. During the session, the expert focussed on the equitable distribution of powers to men and women, and explained the concept of Equality v/s Equity and gave some tips on the behaviour of women representatives in society.

Session 3

Dr Jayashree Pendharkar, CIIMS Hospital, Nagpur focused on health issues of women it her speech. This particular session was on Diet and Immunity of women who are working as ward members in Nagpur city. The session disused the various nutritious dietary practices including time schedules. The expert, as a doctor and dietician advised the ward members on the type of food, their nutrient values and proper timings to have them.

She also dwelt upon the ill effects of having processed food over organic food, and suggested the sources of the food to have, how to have them and at what times. The speaker also solved the problems of the ward members regarding the healthy food conditions of the people in slum areas most of whom are unable to have food as per the standards of healthy diet. She suggested alternative ways to avail the essential vitamins necessary for the human body.

This session was useful to both, the ward members themselves and also to enable them solve problems in their slum areas where healthy food was one of the major issues.

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