Capacity-building Programme for EWRs

Capacity-building Programme for Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) of Panchayati Raj Institutions

Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) in India: The Need for Empowerment

In India, women constitute almost half of the population of the country yet, women were not a part of the decision-making process at the grass root levels before the enactment of 73rd Amendment Act, 1992. The 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992, was a landmark for women’s political empowerment, mandating reservation in at least one-third of the seats of all Panchayat Councils and one-third of the Pradhan (Head of the Panchayat) positions for women. Women representation in Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) can be viewed as an instrumentalist approach leading towards empowerment of women through upliftment of their economic, social and political status in the society. The Sustainable Development Goals, to which India is a signatory, in tandem with the National Priorities of actualizing development at the grassroots level, aims to promote strategies at the Panchayat level by supporting States on capacity-building and strengthening all local governments by 2030.

The vision of the Ministry of Women and Child Development is to have empowered women living with dignity in an environment free from violence and discrimination and have well-nurtured children who can be provided with full opportunities for growth and development in a safe and protective environment. Therefore, this initiative of training the Elected Women Representatives of the Panchayati Raj was taken up with the belief that strengthening the understanding of the EWRs towards issues related to women and children that hamper their development and the role of Gram Panchayats in addressing these would pave the way forward towards Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and Girls under Sustainable Development Goals. Driven by this conviction, the Capacity Building Programme for EWRs was conceived by the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) in collaboration with the National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development (NIPCCD) with the broad objective to develop EWRs as change agents and help them discharge their duties effectively and to improve their leadership qualities and management skills for better implementation of various schemes of the government.

The capacity building programme for EWRs was initiated in 2017-18 (Phase-I) and based on the success of Phase-I, the Phase-II (2018-19) has been initiated in select states/UTs with the following broad objectives:


The major objectives of the training programme of EWRs were to:

  • deliberate upon issues related to empowerment of women and children and functioning of PRIs;
  • discuss the flagship programmes of Central and State Government for women, children and marginalized groups;
  • impart knowledge on legislations for the protection of the vulnerable;
  • provide practical know-how to monitor asset creation and public works in the villages and process of participatory planning in local governance;
  • discuss recent developments related to dry dairy farming and e-banking, cashless transactions, etc.; and
  • enable women to identify their leadership potential to contribute effectively as change agents.


Training Methodology

  • A two-tier training strategy has been adopted in Phase I & II to train the elected women representatives across the country.

First Tier: The Institute identified various partner organisations competent to train the EWRs. Master Trainers had to be trained from each district who would further impart training to 45 EWRs of their respective districts. These trainings were conducted at NIPCCD Headquarters and their Regional Centres. The trainers were oriented to the content and pedagogy of training in a three-day Training of Trainers (ToT) Programme organized by NIPCCD. 

Two-tier: At the second level, the trained Master Trainers further imparted requisite training to EWRs in every district with support from local resource persons, etc. NIPCCD apart from imparting training in some selected districts also monitored the quality of training imparted to Master Trainers in various districts.

The accomplishment of 33,403 EWRs Training in Phase-I and Phase-II is as under :



Phase -1 : 2017-18


Phase –II : 2018-19

States/UT covered






Partner Organizations in collaboration



Master Trainers



EWRs Trained




Training Material

  • Training Framework

During Phase-I, a Training Framework was prepared for training of Master Trainers of EWRs keeping in view that the deliberations are gender-friendly and the content focuses on issues from the perspective of women.

  • Booklets

A set of eight booklets were also prepared for dissemination amongst EWRs. These Booklets were not only prepared in English and Hindi, but also in Marathi, Kannada, and Malayalam with the use of simple language and handy information on different subjects relevant to the functioning of the EWRs and their role in village development. The booklets were illustrative replete with case studies, figures, pictorials, etc., wherever required. The titles of these set of eight booklets prepared were as mentioned:

  1. Empowering Women in Panchayati Raj Institutions
  2. An Introduction to Programmes and Schemes
  3. Laws and Acts
  4. Leadership
  5. Participatory Planning, Asset Creation and Monitoring of Public Work
  6. Accessing Public Services
  7. Information Communication Technology
  8. Dry Dairy Farming
  • Handbook

During Phase-II, the eight booklets prepared for the EWRs in the first phase of the project were further simplified and revised in the form of one Handbook which was even more illustrative and comprehensible focusing on various issues from the perspectives of women and children. Further, this Handbook was translated and made available in many languages including English, Hindi, Gujarati, Assamese, Kannada, Punjabi, and Oriya and has been distributed to the EWRs during the Trainings.