Governance and State Accountability
NEN has developed different strategies in order to bring the thematic area of governance and state accountability to the fore. The focus is on women getting access to entitlements, to inclusive political participation, and access to legal justice systems. In this context NEN has been resourcing state agencies by imparting awareness for the effective implementation of certain pro-women laws that deal with gender based violence and marginalisation.
Within the issue of governance NEN focusses on three components which are to do with the following:
- Studying the situation of women affected by conflict in Assam, such as lack of basic facilities in rehabilitation camps, displaced women’s access to entitlements, their safety, and the formation of peace committees. The idea is to ensure the role of the government to in following a proactive process in conflict prevention, peace building and reconstruction processes. At the same time NEN hopes to get full participation of women in enhancing their position in planning and deciding.
- Women’s representation in local governance, both formal and informal in the three states of the region. The idea is to see that women not only get involved in decision making but become positive agents of change by ensuring, through consistent training, the ability to monitor, however informally, the facilities that exist in their area ranging from toilets, water supply source, drainage system, garbage disposal, bright and healthy school classrooms and so on. This would lead NEN to also train women of Village Councils, Dorbars, Panchayats, social organisations, to understand the Flagship programmes of the government that are applicable to the three states of our work area. (They are, for instance, Women in Agriculture schemes, IAWS, JSY, NBA, MNREGA, PDS, Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana and so on).
- The third important component is for women to be aware of the resources that are allocated for sustainence of rural services, support systems and the schemes that are meant for the well being of its people. NEN Assam had begun to use Gender Responsive Budgeting to track and monitor the quantum of resources in Assam and the NER. It assessed budgetary priorities of the states in terms of allocations and expenditures in select sectors of health, education and livelihoods. The organisation became a part of the People’s Budget Initiative, which is a wide platform for sharing or tracking resource expenditure of different governments.