Improving Access to Justice of Dalit Community through Human & Women Rights Education

Goal of the project: Empowerment of Dalit women.

Objective of the project: The project aimed at strengthening the Dalit local administrative institution “Panchayet” with women inclusion in the committee for empowerment and development of women leadership.

Duration of the project: 2012-2015

Donor: KIOS-Finland

Background information of the project: This project, with the financial assistance from “KIOS-the Finish NGO Foundation from Human Right” implemented from August 2012 to July 2015. This was an integrated project to mainstream Dalit community for establishment of their human rights through the network of Dalit community. The project was implemented in two districts, Jamalpur and Sherpur. Activities planned were to make existing Dalit-Panchayet gender-sensitive and democratic; develop Human Rights Defenders-both women and men; creating scopes for them so that they can have access to Civil Service Delivery Institutions (CSDI) and local Governments and have access to information.

Results: Shadow Women Panchayet has opened a window for the Dalit women; for the first time they are organized. It immensely helps building their self-confidence and respect. They meet, they go out, they participate and speak out their problems with reasons scaling their gradual advancement. Because of their mothers’ development, Dalit children’s enrollment increased, and dropout reduced significantly.
The project also brings some noticeable changes in the attitude and behaviour of Panchayet leaders, which are now quite visible. A good number of Panchayet operations now follow democratic system, selection of Panchayet committee members now follows a more participatory process then before, they started maintaining records accordingly for transparency. Panchayet is aware about women human rights and all the Panchayet included women in the Panchayet.

Conclusion: As an upshot of this project, Dalit male counterparts also became gender sensitive and moderate regarding women issues. Joint meeting in the community level with the government and other service delivery institutions also made it easy for the Dalits to get government services, grants, and safety-net supports. Training in the community level and participation make them sensitive and aware about service delivery systems and institutions. The traditional believes and attitude towards female role in the family and society has also been changing in favour of women. So, we can hopefully say that the project was successful and replicable.