The Union Cabinet, presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on 6 March 2017 approved the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and the United Nations Entity of Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women).
The MoU seeks to provide technical support to the Ministry of Panchayati Raj in strengthening capacities of governance institutions including Panchayati Raj Institutions(PRIs) to better leverage opportunities created for gender equality through legislation, policies and programmes.
It is interesting to note that the decision has come just a couple of days before the International Women's Day 2017.
The Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) and UN-Women have worked in collaboration with each other to promote participation of women in PRIs. The collaborations seeks to enhance building capacities of Elected Women Representatives.
• The proposed MoU will facilitate the achievement of time-bound results in the implementation of specific activities identified jointly by Ministry of Panchayati Raj and UN Women within the broader framework for cooperation under the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF).
• As per the terms of the MoU, activities will be implemented at the district and sub-district level in six States i.e. Telengana, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
• The MoPR and the UN-Women will work together towards participatory design of governance processes and effective implementation of laws, policies and programmes to promote gender responsive governance.
• The parties are in agreement that engendering the initiatives of MoPR will be of mutual benefit. Also, it will promote their shared mission of good governance, gender equality and women’s empowerment.
• In the long run, it will also enable an improvement in the status of rural women in India.
• Also, the initiative will contribute to meeting India’s commitment to the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Beijing Platform for Action and the Sustainable Development Goals.