ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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A Silent 'Revolution'? Women's Empowerment in Rural Tamil Nadu

One of the most significant social changes over the past 25 years in Tamil Nadu is the entry of women into the local political bodies at the village and village union levels through the 33% reservation system. Simultaneously, women are now, to a significant extent, organised in self-help groups. Through these about one-fourth of the households can access loans for small entrepreneurship or, rather more frequently, for smaller emergency/consumption loans. There has also been increased participation of women in the non-agricultural labour market and the emergence in Tamil Nadu of a rudimentary "barefoot" welfare state. In this article we report from a 25-year panel study of 213 agrarian households in six villages in Karur and Tiruchirapalli districts.

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