Gender inclusiveness at grassroots level in India: insights by the newest member of the Partnership
In November 2019, Mahila Housing Sewa Trust (MHT) hosted an International Grassroots Conclave, „My Home, My City, My Voice: Women as Changemakers“ at Ahmedabad, India, to mark its 25th anniversary year. The Conclave saw 1000+ grassroots leaders from multiple cities in India, Bangladesh and Nepal, and it provided an inclusive platform for sharing their experiences, challenges and success stories. They also expressed their vision for action towards habitat development, climate change resilience, and promoting participatory planning in cities, which will necessarily lead towards responsible urbanization. Many senior government officials, councilors, and academicians shared their insights and scaling up of locally relevant solutions and the vision for the future growth of equitable and sustainable cities was envisaged.
At the Conclave, the exhibition space was set up where four stalls depicting the alternative sustainable building techniques were showcased. The panels showcasing the engagement workshops conducted with the grassroots women in 6 different cities were also displayed. The purpose of the workshop was to involve women leaders from slum communities in an exercise to conceive the future of their towns and communities and encourage them to reflect on their role as change-makers. In the workshop, the women leaders realized how their local work is contributing towards the international agenda of accomplishing Sustainable Development Goals, which made them feel proud. The event was widely covered locally as well as nationally.
Written Contribution by Mahila Housing Trust