Dear Reader,

The paucity of women’s representation in our elected bodies is an issue that has been hanging fire for decades now. A full thirteen years have gone by since the Women’s Reservation Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha, which set aside 33 per cent of seats for women in Parliament and state assemblies. It has since been on the back burner.

Data for 150 assembly seats, between 1998 and 2023, analysed by ThePrint, paint a dismal picture. The average number of women elected to assemblies in these 25 years is an abysmal 7 to 9 per cent of the total members. While a shade better in the Lok Sabha – increasing from 43 in 1998 to 78 now (14.4 per cent) – it is nowhere near the 33 per cent envisaged in the Women’s Bill and far from the ideal 50 per cent, considering the near parity in percentage of population.

For women in India, the lack of privacy, access to pain management and sanitary pads make the menstruation period a real challenge. This challenge is even more acute for women in India’s prisons. Mojo Story analyses a study by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative(CHRI), in 11 women’s prisons in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu, to tell us the struggle and the need for urgent action.

In the effort to empower women, especially in rural areas, access to formal banking is an important facility. While there have been significant increases in bank accounts by women, especially since the pandemic, they remain largely confined to accessing government benefits. India Development Review argues that rural women have to be mentored to upgrade to building savings and accessing financial products through the banking network.

And, the Kaziranga National Park, the bastion of the one-horned rhinoceros, is India’s ‘first conservation success’ – with about 2,660 of the 4,000 surviving rhinos in residence. Significantly, the success came not just because of centralised schemes but was largely accomplished through accommodating the rights of rural communities, nudging local political entities to back the conservation effort and successfully enshrining the rhino as a cultural icon of Assam. The India Forum brings you the effort.

For more such stories from the grantees this week, please read on.


Sunil Rajshekhar

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92% of MLAs elected in past 25 yrs were men — what data shows about women’s representation in politics

The number of women in India’s elected bodies has been at best stagnant. With the women’s reservation bill delayed for a decade and more, ThePrint analyses the data to find that nothing substantially has changed for women in India’s politics.

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Worst Place For Women To Have A Period? Indian Prisons

Mojo Story, citing a study conducted by CHRI, analyses why Indian prisons are so overwhelmingly loaded against menstruating women.

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How banks can enable women’s financial inclusion

Women in India’s rural hinterland need to be inspired to not only join the formal banking system but also be nudged to access the value-added financial instruments they provide, India Development Review emphasises.

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How India’s First Conservation Success Came to Be

The India Forum analyses how initiatives at the state level inspired the successful conservation of the one-horned rhinoceros in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park.

Read Here

More from the grantees
Impact: यूपी के चंदौली में नहरों का जाल फिर भी पानी का अकाल, मुश्किल में गेहूं किसान
Janchowk reported on the plight of wheat farmers of the Chandauli district in UP, who despite being surrounded by a network of canals, were losing their crops to acute scarcity of water. The story led to the Chief Development Officer in the district taking cognisance of the matter and ordering the quantum of water released into the canals to be increased.
2022-23ನೇ ಬಜೆಟ್; ಆರ್ಥಿಕ ವರ್ಷಾಂತ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿದ್ದರೂ 79,255 ಕೋಟಿ ರು. ವೆಚ್ಚವೇ ಆಗಿಲ್ಲ
The File investigates and brings us the story of how a whopping Rs. 79,225 crore, monies allocated to Karnataka’s government departments for public welfare projects, lie unspent.
Climate Change: India’s Future Would Be Warmer, Wetter With Extreme Human Suffering
The Probe looks at the various climate surveys in the recent past to point out how climate change is an inevitable reality and why India has its task cut out in transitioning to a greener economy.
Pesticides: A Threat To Drinking Water Sources in Kashmir
As the spraying season begins in Kashmir, the rampant and unbridled use of pesticides is a cause for real concern even as government bodies turn a blind eye. Kashmir Observer dissects the issue.

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