Action groups to combat gender discrimination

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JAIPUR : The department of women and child development (WCD) will form community action groups, including an anganwadi worker, panchayati raj institution member, teacher, civil society member and adolescent girl, to combat gender discrimination and violence.

The program, under the Chirali project, is being initiated with the objective of creating an enabling environment that would support girls and women move freely and make use of choices, spaces and opportunities for their overall well-being.

The community action group will act as a pro-active pressure group and reach out to communities on issues related to violence and gender-based discrimination against girls and women.

In the initial stage, the scheme will be implemented in seven districts of Rajasthan—Banswara, Bhilwara, Jalore, Jhalawar, Nagaur, Pali, Bundi and Pratapgarh—and cover 2,071 gram panchayats.

“Under the scheme, the focus will be on building action groups at the community level, who can empower members to act against gender-based discrimination and violence,” said WCD minister Anita Bhadel.

The programme will be implemented with the technical support of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). At the grassroots level, partnerships will be facilitated through various stakeholders and members of the community and civil society.
Sunil Thomas Jacob, state programme coordinator, UNFPA, said, “Under the Chirali scheme, we seek to strengthen community groups at the village level. These groups will be motivated to work against gender-based violence. At the community level, the success of the initiative depends on the partnership between the government departments, UN agencies, international and national NGOs, sivil society participants, PRI institutions and the community.”
Roli Singh, principal secretary, WCD department, said these groups would act as a pressure group and create awareness among women through mobilization.
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