Thursday, June 23, 2016

Press Release

UN Women and Government of Odisha to promote Gender Responsive Governance

Date: Bhubaneswar, 23 June 
(Revised / updated on 24 June  2015) 
The Panchayati Raj Department, Government of Odisha and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today to strengthen capacities of governance institutions to ensure gender concerns are embedded in the design and implementation of legislation, policies, and programmes.
Two pilot districts - Dhenkanal and Mayurbhanj – have been selected for the project. It will cover 34 blocks and 580 Gram Panchayats. The project will lead to better outcomes for women, resulting from improved access to their rights and entitlements through Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs). 
The State Institute for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Odisha will be the implementing agency for the project. 
“The project will further strengthen our commitment to building an empowered rural community ably headed by women Panchayati Raj Institution representatives,” said Dr. Arun Kumar Sahoo, Minister of State, Panchayati Raj, Law, during the signing. “Leading to a better outcome for the women, resulting in improving access to their right and entitlement through Panchayati Raj Institutions,” he added. 
Deoranjan Kumar Singh, IAS Commissioner-Cum-Secretary, who was also present at the signing said, “Through the 14th Finance Commission, the Government of India has made sufficient resources available. However there are critical gaps which we need to address, and here UN Women can play a critical role. Villages can only become model villages when we are able to address the critical gender gaps and ensure women’s equitable participation in governance processes.” 
“UN Women is delighted to partner with the Government of Odisha in this important initiative and will provide technical knowledge and resources to support the State Institute of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj,” said Dr. Rebecca Reichmann Tavares, Representative, UN Women Office for India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka. The project will be implemented in the states of Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, and Odisha. 
Dr. Arun Kumar Sahoo, Minister of State, Panchayati Raj, Law; Deoranjan Kumar Singh, IAS Commissioner-Cum-Secretary; Girish S.N., IAS Director, Special Projects; Saroj Kumar Dash, Deputy Director, State Institute of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj; Amita Patra, Assistant Director, State Institute of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, Dr. Rebecca Reichmann Tavares, Representative, UN Women; Navanita Sinha, Programme Specialist, UN Women and Arunima Sen, Programme Analyst, UN Women, were present at the signing ceremony.  
For more information:
Mrinalini Santhanam, Communications Assistant, UN Women India 
Tel: +91 95604 56963 

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