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Journal of Agricultural Development and Policy
Year : 2014, Volume : 24, Issue : 1
First page : ( 44) Last page : ( 51)
Print ISSN : 0974-9071. Online ISSN : 2322-0457.

Political Empowerment of Women with Reference to Panchayati Raj Institutions in Punjab

Kaur Gursharan, Dhindsa Paramjeet Kaur

Punjab School of Economics, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar-143 005

JEl Classification: P48

Online published on 25 September, 2014.


Today in India women constitute more than 35 per cent of elected representatives in Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRls) due to the reservation given by 73′d Constitutional Amendment Act. The present study has addressed the basic question that whether these elected women representatives are actually politically empowered or they just act as dummies to satisfy the constitutional provision. For this purpose primary data were collected from three districts of Punjab state. The various Indices like Knowledge Index, Decision Making Index and Composite Political Empowerment Index were constructed to measure the political empowerment of women sarpanches. The multiple regression analysis was used to examine the impact of socio-economic variables on political empowerment of women. The results of the study revealed that the awareness level of women sarpanches about Panchayati Raj and its functions was not satisfactory; except for few cases and their participation in decision making process of Gram Panchayat was ineffective. The overall picture of political empowerment of women was not satisfactory. Still there is male dominance in rural politics; women are acting as dummies to satisfy the constitutional provision. The regression result found significant impact of education, caste, experience, family income and district dummies on political empowerment of women. The study suggests that there is need of more efforts on the part of government and NGOs for providing training to women leaders in order to increase their active participation in the growth process.



Panchayati Raj, political empowerment, women, Punjab.


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