ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

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.

T here are two very signicant developments relating to women in developing countries including India in the past two decades. One is the introduction of microcredit schemes, which cater to womens need of nance, often through self-help groups (shgs) that impose a collective discipline in repayment, in an otherwise male-dominated credit market. The other is the rather dramatically increased representation of women in elected local government bodies through various forms of reservation or quota systems.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Or

To gain instant access to this article (download).


Pay
INR 236

(Readers in India)


Pay
$ 12

(Readers outside India)

Support Us

Your Support will ensure EPW’s financial viability and sustainability.

The EPW produces independent and public-spirited scholarship and analyses of contemporary affairs every week. EPW is one of the few publications that keep alive the spirit of intellectual inquiry in the Indian media.

Often described as a publication with a “social conscience,” EPW has never shied away from taking strong editorial positions. Our publication is free from political pressure, or commercial interests. Our editorial independence is our pride.

We rely on your support to continue the endeavour of highlighting the challenges faced by the disadvantaged, writings from the margins, and scholarship on the most pertinent issues that concern contemporary Indian society.

Every contribution is valuable for our future.