Empowering Young Women Leaders: Insights and Perspectives

Session Report Anubhuti Mahanta

#IMPRI Gender Impact Studies IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi organized “YWLPPF Young Women Leaders in Public Policy Fellowship- Winter’24”, a two-month online immersive introductory leadership certificate training fellowship program to empower young women to become effective leaders in the field of public policy through a comprehensive learning experience delivered by leading women experts in the field. The session’s experts included Dr. Soumyadip Chattopadhyay, Associate Professor of Economics, and Vishwa Vallabha, also a Visiting Senior Fellow at IMPRI, Advocate Aradhana Johri Menon, Director of Majlis Legal Center Mumbai and our program chair, Vibhuti Patel.

Professor Vibhuti Patel provided opening remarks, summarizing the previous five days of the program. She highlighted sessions on women’s participation in decision-making, the trajectory of India’s socio-economic and political developments, women’s roles in planning in India, global perspectives on feminism, and the impact of initiatives for women’s empowerment and development in India. She also mentioned sessions on young women becoming catalysts for change in public policy, the role of women in diplomacy, administration, and political processes, and the importance of solidarity at various levels.

Furthermore, she discussed the evolution of women’s rights movement through various phases, starting with a binary focus on patriarchy and women, then moving towards inclusivity by addressing the rights of gender non binary individuals and identity-based initiatives. She further talked about the current phase that is characterized by information, technology and online mobilisation, along with its challenges.

She further expressed how on the fourth day of the program, there were sessions featuring speakers such as Abhini Nam Joshua, who shared experiences from a community-based organization working with adolescent girls  and bringing positive change into their lives. She added by talking about Dr. Purnima Chavan and her efforts to empowering young women leaders in local government and addressing issues such as declining sex ratios and women’s survival struggles in the Himalayan regions. 

After her presentation, Dr. Soumyadip Chattopadhyay and Advocate Aradhana Johri Menon took over.

The session concluded with a Q&A segment where participants engaged with the speakers, discussing topics such as the challenges of data collection at the local level, the ethical use of big data, and the practical application of laws to support women facing violence. The speakers provided insights and encouraged participants to consider the importance of solidarity, accountability, and practical support in advancing women’s rights and public policy.

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