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Women's Tribunal Against Poverty

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Published on Mar 12, 2008

The Women's Tribunal against Poverty (India) was held in New Delhi on 17 October 2007. The Tribunal was one of four such initiatives organized in Peru, Eypt, North America & India through the initiative of the Feminist Taskforce of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (www.whiteband.org), with the intention of drawing the attention of policy makers worldwide to women's priorities and their integral role in any effort to end Poverty & Exclusion.
The 'Women's Tribunal against Poverty' in India was conceived as an opportunity for grassroots women leaders across the country to come together and make a strong statement on the experiences of women who face acute social and economic discrimination -- including Dalits, Denotified & Nomadic Tribes, Adivasis, Forest Dwellers, Muslim Minorities, Women with Disabilities & Single Women. The initiative was founded on the premise that the struggle to end poverty is powerless without the participation and leadership of women, and that the government cannot be effective unless the women's agenda is central to its policies, programs and budgets.
The Women's Tribunal was organized through the collective effort of 21 organizations and networks, with the objective of assessing what has worked well and benefited women living at the margins, and what has been flawed or overlooked in the interventions and approaches of policies and programs that were implemented in the context of the National Common Minimum Program & the National Development Goals.
Held on the occasion of the World Day for the Eradication of Poverty (Oct 17), the Women's Tribunal against Poverty emerged as a powerful experience which brought together over 400 women from across 20 states of India. Women presented their experiences, testimonies and petitions as part of this effort, and also extended solidarity to the thousands of activists demonstrating across the country for the land rights for the poor through the concluding action that was organized at the local protest site of the 'Janadesh' rally.
The Women's Tribunal was made remarkable by the involvement of a distinguished panel of Jurists and Rapporteurs representing the spectrum of social movements, trade unions, academia, national networks and grassroots movements from across the country. Based on the testimonies provided, the Jury provided an assessment of the advantages & disadvantages experienced by women in relation to existing policies & programs, and pointed towards the policy agenda and social actions required to achieve women's entitlements.
The Women's Tribunal was also successful in obtaining a meeting on the same date with the President of India, Pratibha Patil, who is the first woman to hold this position in the country. A delegation representing the diversity of experiences and efforts that were brought together by the Tribunal, briefed the President on the discussions and recommendations of the deliberations.
The International Women's Day this year (March 8, 2008) is an opportune time for us to consolidate the recommendations that emerged from the Women's Tribunal and thereby reinforce the key demands for women in the governance agenda, and reach the same to policy makers and governance institutions, at the local, national and global levels.
www.wadanatodo.net

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