Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Active participation of rural women in Panchayat Raj System, India

By, 73rd and 74th Amendment Acts of 1992; Panchayati Raj System was established in India. This system gave grass-root level democracy. Rural women were not getting their due share in development process. Social and political backwardness prevented them from taking part in decision making. But these amendments made provision for one-third reservation for women.
Hence, women got due share in policy making. Illiteracy among women could be reduced. Their leadership skill developed. They came out of four walls of houses and played decisive role in development. Gender bias is reduced. They became more aware about their rights. They have started to demand reservation in Parliament also.
But in some cases, women have been used as rubber-stamps. Actual decisions are being taken by their male partners. Women may have stormed the male bastion under the Panchayati Raj System, but in many cases it is the husbands or male members of their families who are calling the shots.
The Panchayati Raj Ministry has received complaints that it is the spouses or male members of the families of elected women representatives in the rural bodies who are running the office. Elected women representatives have reportedly been reduced to proxies of their male relatives and are under the control of male-dominated political party system.
Maharashtra Government, in 2007, had issued a circular directing all the PRIs in the state that lady office bearers should discharge their duty themselves and their close relatives should not interfere in their work. States and Union Territories have also been suggested to consider taking a similar action.

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