Commentary: New technologies allow women in India to be partners in decision-making

Author: Shreya Sen, OpenGlobalRights, Published on: 17 July 2018

"Bringing justice close: an experiment in accessing justice with technology", 17 July 2018

[In India], legal empowerment is paving the path for poor and marginalized communities to be partners in development and decision-making... New technological tools are one type of innovation that helps legal empowerment efforts reach difficult spaces. Nazdeek—a grassroots rights organization focusing on access to justice (...) has been working with tea plantation workers in Assam and slum dwellers in Delhi (...) with the mission to address systemic issues through community led policy and legal advocacy. People across the country still lack adequate access to critical services such as food, clean water, sanitation facilities, and essential healthcare. This is particularly true for Dalit, Adivasi (indigenous) and Muslim women who bear the burden of a deeply patriarchal society... Therefore, engaging women in monitoring government services is a crucial step to guarantee a more dignified life, and break the cycle of marginalization... Nazdeek partnered with community paralegals in Delhi and Assam to develop effective and accessible strategies for monitoring essential services that they are legally entitled to, seek redressal of individual right violations, and collectively advocate for systemic improvements... Through this partnership, [they] developed a coding system which assigns numeric codes to a range of (...) entitlements, (...) and are able to decide on strategies most effective to address a certain issue.

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