the 73rd Amendment Act the system of reservation of seats for women
in local bodies was introduced by many States on their own manner. This
reservation system was varied from State to State, the range of variation being
10% in Madhya Pradesh to 33 and half percent in the case of West Bengal.
Karnataka was the first State who followed the provisions of 73rd
Amendment Act followed by Bihar, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Tripura.
Act provided a base to women to represent the half world politically(world’s
almost half population are women). This reservation system is not an end in
itself, but only a mean to an end and the end being extensive involvement of
women who constitute nearly 50% of the total population in the India, the
political decision-making process at local level and effective implementation
of empower programmes for women and child development programmes with their
73rd Amendment is an attempt to introduce progressive
decentralization. The Act legalized the total of 2, 54,426 village councils in
the country. As one third of the seats are reserved for women, this in effect
means that it provides for the exercise of decision-making power by an average
of1,039,872 women representatives at village level, 58,328 women representatives
at intermediate level and 5,821 women representatives at district level.
Further, as the Act also ensures that one-third of the positions available as
chairpersons in all the three tiers are reserved for women, it means those
women head 83960 Village Panchayats, 2119 intermediary councils and 207
73rd Amendment makes a historic beginning for the effective
representation of women in decision-making process at the local level. Before
reservation there was merely 4.5 percent women were in this area, which after
reservation has gone up to 40 to 50 percent. These Facts shows that a larger
number of women have participated in the local bodies’ election and this
signifies a very encouraging trend for the women’s empowerment at grass root
level. Though it has taken time for women to improve their numerical strength
and increase active participation in the rural and semi-urban areas, but the
result have been truly shaking up.
per the Fifteenth Anniversary charter on
Panchayati Raj, “Today more than 26 lakh representatives stand elected to
the three levels of Panchayats. Of these, over 10 lakh are women. The last
fifteen years of Panchayati Raj have thus succeeded in empowering marginalized
groups who have gained political representation and valuable experience. Many
of them have successfully taken on the challenge of governance and brought
about enduring social change through their close links with the community.”8
always prioritize issues like health, education and access to basic services
and especially able to ensure a significant change in living conditions for the
entire community. The efforts and work of several women representatives in
Panchayats of various states have been widely acclaimed.
empowerment in the form of participation in decisionmaking process at various
levels of political activity is also very important in a democratic country.
Since 1994, 33% seats have been reserved for women in the elections to urban
and rural local bodies, i.e. municipal bodies and village panchayats. As a
result of this about one million women at grass root level have received
political power. At first it was noticed that those women who were elected
could not act on their own but were mere puppets in the hands of their men
folk. Secondly, male members of panchayats did not accept these women as
equals, leave alone work under them if they happened to be the Sarpanch. But
gradually women have learnt to assert themselves, use their power for the good
of the community and show achievements. Devaki Jain writes, ‘No one even
remotely anticipated the level of commitment displayed by the women who entered
politics as a result of 33% percent reservation at Panchayat and municipal
levels. The emergence of these women disproved the ‘belief that women are not
‘available’ for politics. Many of them won in non-reserved constituencies too.
They have shown that they know what power and politics is all about, however
illiterate or ignorant of governance, they may be having tested power, they are
unlikely to give it up.9
conclusion, we may say that the 73rd Amendment Act introduced a new
dimension for the women in political life, where they can give identity to herself
or their leading and representation abilities.After the evaluation of the above
mentioned data we have find some impacts of 73rd Amendment Act on
Women representation, conclusively they are following-
The Act brought out
women strength from the kitchen into competition of politics and administration
with no pre-training and experience whatsoever in public life.
It brought women in the
role of participant in decision-making process.
This Act made a
remarkable presence of women in PRI’s, according to an estimate, there is more
than one million women in all three tiers of Panchayati Raj Institutions.
The representation of women
in PRI’s shattered all the prejudice of the society like women have no interest
in politics or to undertake all the other work that is require in politic pay
Women have gained a
sense of empowerment by asserting control over resources and officials.
Women have chosen issues like health, education and access to basic
services are differing from the traditional
political platform. For exampleShushmaBhadu,a women Sarpanch of Jind district
resolve to save the girl child and launched an initiative “BetiBachaoAbhiyaan”, which was followed by the Indian Government
and lounched “BetibachaoBetiPadhaoYojna”.
The sheer numbers of
women representatives in Panchayati Raj Institution that have been brought into
the political system by the one third reservation under the 73rd
Amendment Act made a significant difference, both qualitative as well as
There are many
constraints like lack of experience, family responsibility, cast and gender
domination and lack of an enabling environment even after that women
representative are increasing in numbers at each and every level of government.
The Act has given a new
dimension to the process of rural development in India by providing reservation
The reservation in
Panchayati Raj provided them an opportunity to raise their grievances and other
related socio-economic problems in formal forum.
This Act motivated the
women to involve in the political process of the country.
After the Amendment Act
the voting percentage and ratio of women increased respectively.
The empowerment of
women at grass root level inspired women to participate at higher level
politics so the representation of women in State Assemblies and LokSabha also
increased respectively through the years.
Women participating in
elections more than the reservation, this is showing the real empowerment of
The participation and
representation of women in politics and decision making process respectively
increasing day by day.
politics also inspired women to do something new and better in other field of
the end, we can conclude that the above mentioned indicators are good for the
democracy and for the women empowerment, but there are many questions remains
yet to rise and yet to answer.
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Local Administration in India. Jaipur. RBSA Publishers. pp.16-17.
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Sharma, Ashok. (2016).
Local Administration in India. Jaipur. RBSA Publishers. pp. 16-17.
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Women Empowerment and Panchayati Raj Institutions: A Case Study of Nagaon
District. Assam University. Assam. pp. 10.
Kumar, C.Vinod. (2012).
Political Empowerment of Women in Panchayati Raj Institutions at Grass root
Level. AcharyaNagarjuna University.Nagarjuna Nagar (A.P.).
Reservation of seats
for women in Legislative Bodies: Perspectives. (July 2008). RajyaSabha
Secretariat. New Delhi. pp. 10.
Roy, Biswajit. (2012).
Women Empowerment and Panchayati Raj Institutions: A Case Study of Nagaon District.
Assam University. Assam. pp. 9