Women Empowerment and Rural Development: Are They Sailing on the Same Boat
9 Pages Posted: 25 Mar 2013
Date Written: March 25, 2013
The crux of present world order situation is gender equality. The gender related issues have gained primacy in recent discourses on social analysis because of its tentacle spread and effect. In the post independence era, the government accorded the highest priority to rural development. The champions of Panchayat Raj system desired that rural women should not only become beneficiaries of development, but more importantly the contributions to it. The present study is designed to measure the extent of participation of elected women in Panchayat Raj system. The knowledge of the elected participants and the constraints for effective participation are also brought up in the study. The study is conducted in the Palani block of Dindigul district among 70 elected women. It was found that majority of the respondents were young aged and were in the category of primary level of education. The participation of the women in the Panchayat proceedings was medium but one-fifth of them attended almost all the meetings. It was also found that half of the respondents putforth their opinions wherever possible followed by majority of the respondents identifying the problems in the villages and wards by themselves. Financial constraints, social taboo and political interference were the major constraints challenging effective participation. Adequate funding and sufficient training were the major suggestions given by the elected women themselves. The findings of the study would be helpful to the planners, development workers and social scientists involved at the grass root political sphere.
Keywords: Panchayat raj, women participation, rural development
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