Experts call for strengthening women’s participation in local budgeting

Kochi, Nov 3: Women must be encouraged to take part and included in the process of budgeting in local governance to not just achieve the goals of gender equity but also because their knowledge will help with greater efficiency in resource allocation for communities, according to experts.


Eminent speakers who addressed the issue during discussions on the opening day of BRICS conference on ‘Participatory Local Budgeting’ highlighted the fact that when women are empowered to deliberate over part of the resource allocation in their communities, it opens up the possibilities of greater matching of local resources with local needs..


“As women and tribals are the most important stakeholders in participatory budgeting, they should be part of it. It is important for boosting gender equity; we can even call this process gender budgeting,” said Shri Durgananda Jha, Chairman, Centre for Policy Analysis, Patna.


The opening day of three-day BRICS conference witnessed three back-to-back sessions in Kochi today.


Smt. Bhuvneshwari Netam from Belargaon Panchayat, Chattisgarh during discussions on ‘Participatory local budgeting and Economic Development’ shared her experience on how women self-help groups in her Panchayat became the most important aspect of participatory budgeting.


“Some self-help groups in panchayat contributed in generating more than Rs 50 lakh in a year which has become a a model for many panchayats in India,” she said.


Shri S Harikishore, Director, Kudumbasree, also spoke about the working model of Kudumbasree, Kerala’s hugely successful community-based project in poverty alleviation and employment generation.


Dr Pam Rajput, Chair of High Level Committee, Ministry of Women and Child Development said that the panchayats in Chandigarh initiated participatory budgeting by women by enquiring about their needs in the society.


“We along with the ward councilors visited houses in each ward and spoke to women asking about their needs. Many were incorporated during the budgeting process and that is how we achieved a participatory budget,” said Pam.


Fabiano Burkhardt, Political Section, Embassy of Brazil in Delhi and Cao Haijung, First Officer, Chinese Embassy, India also spoke.


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