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Young Women In Public Policy Fellowship: Session Report

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Session Report
Riya Pawar

Gender Impact Studies Center, IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute hosted the Winter School Program on Young Women Leaders in Public Policy Fellowship.   The 9th Session of this course was conducted from 6th January to 8th March. The session was convened by Dr. Arjun Kumar, Simmi Mehata, Prof. Gumadi Srideviji, and Adv Dr. Shalu Nigam. The course is conducted by esteemed women pioneers from varied fields with special guidance to emerging young Women Leaders.

The session was enriched with creative and thought-provoking presentations by Keynote Speakers and the participants. Presentations were delivered by Dr Puja Saxena Nigam, Rishika Patel, Sunidhi Sampige, Shwetamara, Pallavi Beri, Jest Skariah, Laxmi Singh, Aditi Choudhary and  Reha Pandey

Presentations

Dr Puja Saxena Nigam, Associate Professor presented about the Changing Role of Women in Use of Common Property Resources (CPR)  in the context of Urbanisation in India ( Environment and Sustainability). She describes the overuse due to no price charges for common property resources. She noted that women suffer with degradation and depletion in the rural settings. She raised prominent gender based issues related to CPR like women’s access to land, predictive assets and legal entitlements. She further suggested a threefold way of approaching this problem by Peri-urban solutions, Government interventions and NGOs interventions. 

Rishika Patel presented a poetic documentary, covering women’s access to urban spaces. She underscored that women’s access is hindered due to safety issues. 

Sunidhi Sampige navigated through the aspects that a show-Gilmore Girls helped in unveiling. She presented all the characters and the empowering aspects about them in a photo essay. The show depicts female characters that are career driven, brave and revolutionary at times. She talked about intersectional feminism portrayed with help of a character growing up in an orthodox asian family. 

Shwetma Raj touched upon a vital issue hindering women participation in workforce- Women  Harassment at Work Places. She highlighted the existing laws in place to create safe working spaces for women.  She noted the Current Scenarios and alarming number cases continue to be present on ground. Despite several measures underway, according to Shwetma Raj,  there is a lack of awareness surrounding this issue. 

Pallavi Beri, in her presentation emphasised on Rethinking Violence Against Women in Domestic Spaces. She talked about varied forms of Violence like inequalities, limited access to employment opportunities, services, opportunities, education etc. She propounded that Structural Violence on Women studies focuses on direct violence failing to address the problem of structural violence.  Along with the research she also presented a video of mental, emotional and physical effects of structural violence on women. 

Rohingyas are one of the most  Persecuted communities in the world.  Jesty Skariah and Varsha Jos presented the tyranny of women among Rohingya refugees and, Sexual and Reproductive challenges faced by them. Statistics said that 56% women had unwelcomed sexual relations. Further they described the limited access to sanitary and Reproductive services. Based on their analysis, they offered a policy solution MISP (Minimum Initial Service Package) and adopted a gender sensitive approach. 

Laxmi Singh’s presentation was centred around ‘Impact Study on Early Childhood Education Policies in India. She outlined the background of the Early Childhood Education Policies policies in place in India. She talked about the spike in Enrollment Rates because of Anganwadis and Balwadis, Cognitive Gains, Social Developments and Parental Involvement. She argued that there are several perks of Early Childhood Education Policies. She said that they have several positive effects. She concluded by recommending increased infrastructure and budgetary allocation, Anganwadi training, parental and community engagement etc. 

Aditi Choudhary, delved into Engendering Urban Spaces. She talked about some anecdotes and real life experiences. She recited a poem ‘Tale of Two Distinct Worlds’. She talked about intersectional vulnerability and the class wise comparison of marginalised women. 

The theme for Reha Pandey’s presentation was Refugee rise and humanitarian interventions. She chose the narration of the film ‘Little Terrorist’. The movie depicted the challenges faced by refugees, human rights, right to life and opportunities. She underscored the Societal perception of refugees as terrorists.  

Conclusion

The session was insightful and empowering for the participants. It delved into the depths of Women in power, decision making and negotiations to leverage their potential. The session concluded with final remarks by Prof. Vibhuti. 

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