IIM Bangalore, CSR initiative to empower women politicians

 | April 11,2012 10:43 am IST

In an endeavor to strengthen the capabilities and leadership skills of aspiring women politicians, the Centre for Public Policy (CPP) at the Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore (IIMB) in collaboration with New Delhi-based Centre for Social Research (CSR), an NGO working on gender empowerment, launched Indias first certificate course in political leadership for women the India-Women in Leadership (iWIL) programme..


The iWIL programme aims to strengthen the effectiveness of women leaders as they enter and progress in Indian democracy. It aims to equip the aspiring women leaders with the requisite skills, knowledge and expertise in various aspects of governance, and strengthens their ability to contest elections, lobby for womens rights and strengthen the overall network of politically active women across India. This training is targeted towards women in politics, social activists, and others from diverse backgrounds who have a keen interest in active politics. The course is spread across three months which includes lectures, field visits, as well as a week each of intensive exposure visits in Delhi and Singapore. The first batch begins on July 16, 2012.


Dr Ranjana Kumari, Director, CSR said, 'IIM Bangalore and CSR have launched this course jointly to build creative, knowledgeable and innovative women leadership. Investing in women through formal training will help in creating a pipeline of confident and successful women leaders.'


According to the World Economic Forums 2009 Gender Gap Index, India ranks 24 out of 135 countries for womens political participation. Not only are there too few women in Indian politics, but women also face different barriers and disadvantages in their quest to become leading politicians in India. Therefore, women in politics need specialised skills and strategies in order to win elections and pursue the policies that matter most to them, said Dr. Kumari.


Professor Rajeev Gowda, Chairperson, CPP at-IIMB said, 'India needs leaders who balance passion for public service, compassion for the disadvantaged, professionalism in governance, and courage built on values and vision. This programme will provide women leaders with the foundation and skill sets to break new ground and become agents of change.'


Political leaders in India perform a variety of roles. They are expected to belegislators, policy implementers, problem solvers, CEOs of their constituencies, as well as party activists. This course is practical and multidimensional and will equip participants with cutting-edge capabilities that will enable them to enter, progress, and make an impact in the political arena, he added.


Women hold a mere 10% of seats in India's parliament which also reflects their lack of participation in decision-making process. The representation of women in Central Cabinet is even lower. Out of the 34 Cabinet Ministers, only two are women and out of 44 Ministers of State, there are only six women.


The India-Women in Leadership programme aims to correct this imbalance by equipping the participants with appropriate training in political action, policy analysis, personal development and perspective and ideology.