| 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The approach followed to implement this policy is listed below:
1.The state promoted inter-sectoral partnerships and coalitions between various departments, professional bodies, national and international agencies, and voluntary organizations so as to mainstream gender concerns into all programmes/schemes, capacity building and awareness generation.
2.The Government also proposed a gender analysis of proposed or existing programmes/schemes and ensured that gender issues are considered at all stages of the programme cycle, including identification, preparation, appraisal, implementation and evaluation. It also supported various departments and stakeholders in their effort to implement commitments made by the National Policy for Empowerment of Women and the state’s Gender Equity Policy.
3.Adequate resources for accelerated progress through new institutional mechanisms were mobilized.
4.Gender issues were institutionalized into capacity building programmes where refresher and in-service training were made mandatory. Disaster relief and rehabilitation measures were also addressed from the gender perspective.
Women and Child Development Department, GoG is the nodal Department for monitoring and coordinating the activities and progress under the policy. The areas of action are divided in to eight key sectors which are as follows:
1. Economics Environment
2. Governance and Decision making
3. Health and Quality of Life
4. Protection of Women
5. Natural Resource Management
7. Women Related Laws
8. Advocacy and Capacity Building
All the departments prepared a detailed plan for mainstreaming gender issues in their programmes/ schemes. In order to achieve gender equity and equality in their programmes, they actively coordinated with DWCD, other departments as partners and ensured convergence wherever necessary. The department also ensured equal representation of both women and men in all departmental policy making committees and decision-making management boards as envisaged in the policy.
The departments did put in efforts to create a gender-sensitive environment through a critical review to identify gender bias in existing programmes/ schemes. They implemented gender-sensitive programmes across all levels of personnel and facilitated the process of altering existing mindsets within the department. They promoted gender equity as a priority concern in the department and ensured participation of key stakeholders for strategic programme planning, implementation and evaluation. All departments conducted gender audit of programmes/ schemes to assess the effectiveness of implementation.
The broad action plan intends to mainstream gender into all social, economic and development programmes in the state. Inter-departmental coordination, partnerships with all the stakeholders and other unified efforts were carried out to synergize policy implementation in the strategic areas. Individual departments did engage in advocacy initiatives on gender concerns, undertake programmes/schemes to generate interest and awareness and address gender specific needs and concerns. All departments implemented and also tracked progress of policy directives within the purview of their departmental mandates. They coordinated actively with DWCD to seek information/clarification on any matters related to the policy. DWCD with the support of Gender Resource Center developed appropriate monitoring mechanisms to track progress of implementation.
Some of the individual department maintained beneficiary data base for all programs contributing towards women’s development. This would potentially mainstream gender-development indicators into program/scheme monitoring indicators to assess the gendered impact of the program.
| 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
Stakeholders involved in implementation:
1.As the Women and Child Development Department, GoG was the nodal Department for conceptualizing, compiling and preparing a draft policy, all the necessary administrative actions were taken by Women and Child Development Department under the guidance of the Hon’ble Minister, WCD.
The Team involved at the Department level was:
-Principal Secretary, WCDD and his team of Jt. Secretary, Section Officers and Assistant Section officers. Their main responsibility was to take up necessary approvals of the higher authorities as and when necessary during the formulation Principal Secretary, WCDD, providing necessary inputs in policy formulations and getting the final approval from the Hon’ble CM and Cabinet members
-Chief Secretary of the State, provided necessary support to the department heads
2. Gender Resource centre, being a technical support body to the Government on gender issues, actual programme implementation was done by Gender Resource Centre. Director GRC carried out all the work under Principal Secretary, WCDD. The team comprised of Director GRC, Research and policy officer, Programme officer, Gender Data and documentation officer, and Admin In charge. The team was responsible for coordinating the policy formulation process under the guidance of Principal Secretary, WCDD.
| 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
Since this is a policy adopted by Government of Gujarat, resources were managed from the State Government budget.
The Development of the policy involved large no. of people including senior Government Officials, heads of various NGOs, academicians, journalists, people working in social development sectors, especially on women related issues
These people were divided in to various subject specific groups (details) for focused discussions and come out with a policy paper on the same. Then the papers were presented to the Minister, WCD along with a larger group of the society in a State level workshop.
On the basis of the discussions and feedback the entire policy and action areas were finalized with time lines and responsible departments.
The draft was then submitted to the Government authorities for approval and the final draft was then presented to the then Hon’ble C.M. along with cabinet Ministers, for approval.
On the whole it was the first initiative where in such an expensive involvement of various stakeholders was ensured. People from all walks of lives who had any experience to share as far as women and development was concerned, were invited for value addition. Professionals such as doctors, lawyers, journalists, etc. were also consulted specifically.
Apart from that, the policy document was uploaded on GRC website for wider dissemination and feedback.
Each thematic area has about 15 member committee to finalize the action points and submit the policy paper. So about 150 experts and senior Government Officers intensively worked on the policy document for atleast 3 years and came out with the draft policy.
As far as financial resources are concerned all the meeting and formulation of the policy related expenses were covered by the Department of GoG through WCDD.
IEC and orientation/training of the stakeholders on GEP is looked after by Gender Resource Centre and expense is borne by the grant given to GRC.
| 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
Gender Equity Policy of Gujarat State has yielded desired results by mainstreaming gender in the developmental activities of the State. It has been a well coordinated exercise by various departments of the State Government.
A glimpse of concrete output
1.Capacity building of rural women
2.Representation of women in local self governments and Government
3.Jobs have considerably increased
4.Participation of women in decision making
5.Participation of rural women in management of natural resources, especially water
6.Feeling of security among women through multi pronged strategy, e.g., regular programme on gender sensitization and awareness for a wide gamut of Stake holders.
7.The commitment of the State Government has brought in all the concerned departments together for achieving gender equity and equality. That is an exceptional achievement.
8.The concerned departments worked in convergence which helped in unified efforts to address women’s problems. Due to that repetitive processes were ruled out and targeted interventions took place.
9.Focus on women’s issues established its importance in state’s development agenda
10.Improvement in Human Development indicators of the State such as literacy of women, Child sex ratio, etc.
11.Empowerment of women led to their improved status in family, society and wider community level.
| 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
For overall implementation of policy and action plan developed by the department from time to time, following institutional mechanism shall be adopted.
1.A Policy Review Committee was formed under the Chairmanship of the Chief Minister, with the Minister of Women and Child Development and Secretaries of all the related departments as its members. It was supposed to meet on a half-yearly basis to assess the progress of policy implementation and give guidance on the way forward. Individual departments were to present their status reports focusing on gender mainstreaming, gender budgeting, gender analysis of the programmes, convergence with other departments, the progress made in proposed programmes and future plans.
2.DWCD was the nodal department for implementation of the Gender Equity Policy and it co-ordinated with all the departments and partner organizations to ensure gender mainstreaming in programmes/ schemes to achieve policy objectives.
3.The Gender Resource Centre (GRC), had been established within the ambit of DWCD with Honourable Chief Secretary, Govt. of Gujarat as the Chairperson. GRC
a)Monitor policy implementation and track progress
b) Coordinate with all departments on policy implementation
c) Provide support for incorporating gender equity and equality into developmental Programmes/schemes;
d) Design programmes and technically backstop relevant programmes/schemes;
e) Conduct gender audit to ensure gender mainstreaming and gender justice in programmes and their implementation;
f) Establish a gender information network to provide need-based information to all departments and agencies;
g) Conduct policy analysis as per emerging needs and concerns.
h) Such technical bodies will develop appropriate software to facilitate monitoring of policy implementation.
Gender Resource Centre gathered inputs on progress with respect to key sectors of the policy from the concerned departments on regular basis and the progress on implementation was reviewed by Chief Secretary himself in September 2009.
| 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
1.It was a difficult task to get input on progress from various Govt. Departments on regular basis. However, persistent efforts by Gender Resource Centre could overcome this obstacle and various Departments started providing periodical input on progress of policy.
2.Since the focus was gender equity and equality in the society, the biggest challenge was to build the mindset of the people implementing it. To bring out a meaningful policy required that the people drafting it accepted the need for gender equality and were wholeheartedly willing to put in efforts into this initiative. This hurdle was overcome by the Gender Resource Center by constantly working on building a mindset for gender equality and highlighting the poor plight of women in the society.
These were major challenges which required the GRC quite some time to overcome. This is evident from the fact that it took them a couple of years to actually get this policy approved and rolled out. However, their constant efforts in this direction helped them get past these obstacles. Backing from department head was also a crucial contribution in overcoming these obstacles.