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

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Women in Panchayati Raj Institutions

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Reservations for women in Panchayati Raj institutions (PRIs) were seen as a means to bolster women empowerment through increased political awareness, self-confidence, and involvement in development and social issues of the region. The 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts, 1992 proved to be catalytic, ushering in more than 15 lakh women into leadership positions in India’s local administration. These amendments, among other things, handed over the batons of power to the population at the panchayat level with one-third reservation of seats and crucial positions within the panchayat for women.

In addition to the above, these amendments also made it indispensable for all states to hold gram panchayat and municipal elections and empowered these bodies to undertake development activities at the local level. As of now, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal have increased their reservation benchmarks for women in their PRIs to 50%. States like Karnataka have more than 50% women representatives in PRIs, which is suggestive of the fact that more and more women are now emerging victorious in wards that were not reserved for them.

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Updated On : 21st Jan, 2022
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