Neelam Gorhe, Shiv Sena spokesperson and MLC, was guest editor for DNA’s Pune edition on the occasion of its fifth anniversary on Friday
Whether working in the field of politics or social issues, `think globally, act locally’ should be the motto. I have been working for years on women-related issues. When one works at the micro-level alone, one tends to remain there for years. A stage comes when working only on specific cases becomes redundant unless there is a change in policies or laws at the macro-level.
How many people involved in social work know about the United Nation’s conventions on women’s empowerment? This gap between the micro and macro level should be bridged. Otherwise, the initiatives remain and ultimately die at the micro-level.
When we founded Krantikari Mahila Sanghatana in the Yuvak Kranti Dal (Yukrand) days in 1970s, women-related issues were only ‘crimes against women’ as far as the media was concerned. Some questioned the need for a separate organisation for women. Today, all are talking about atrocities against women and the need to work on this issue.
My decision to join the Shiv Sena in 1998 had raise many an eyebrow. I am aware of women-related issues as I had acted as a representative at international level several times.
The state government passed a separate policy for women in 1994, but the policy has to be supported by institutional mechanisms. One has to understand women’s issues through the local, regional, national and international perspectives as the problems at all these levels vary. Thus, bridging the gap between micro and macro becomes important. In politics, they are accepting more and more women, but yet gender budget is an ignored subject. I think there has to be sensitisation at all levels, which needs to be reflected within the government and civil society.