Global institutions acknowledge grassroots women as essential partners in development, and yet, they are too often seen as clients and passive beneficiaries of public services. The Huairou Commission works to reverse this assumption by empowering women to act as full partners in service delivery and leaders in governance processes.
Grassroots women use their practical knowledge of family and community to contribute to policies and programs that are both realistic and effective. However, while the current global political climate presents unprecedented opportunities for bringing women’s voices into decision-making processes, many institutions and governments remain closed to the formal inclusion of grassroots women. Through the Huairou Commission’s Governance work, grassroots women are deepening democratic practice at the local, national and international levels by organizing community priorities and concerns, monitoring local initiatives, discouraging corruption, collaborating and partnering with local authorities and introducing their own development solutions.
Our thematic work in Governance focuses on building the capacity of women’s groups to participate in and influence decision-making at different levels of government. By creating learning platforms and resources to exchange experiences, grassroots women learn how to negotiate with authorities and prepare for holding public leadership positions themselves. Bridging the gap between grassroots women and authorities in this way helps to sustain women in leadership, increase government accountability and create platforms for communities to set policy and resource priorities.