Women Empowerment: An Overused Term

Since the late 1970s, the term ‘empowerment’ has been liberally applied by academics and aid workers in the English-speaking world, including in social services, social psychology, public health, adult literacy and community development. The field of international development has also embraced the term enthusiastically and the idea of empowerment features prominently in the current discourse […]

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Vulnerabilities in Women’s Work and Land Rights

Land and its control are of fundamental importance in sustaining livelihoods in rural India. The relationship between land ownership and poverty has been well established in the past (January, 2001). There are at least four major ways in which owning land has a more direct bearing on rural livelihoods than in urban areas:  land quality […]

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The Panchayat and Women’s Empowerment

Democratic decentralisation expands the space for political participation of the subordinated and the excluded. Scholars have cited it as a process of empowerment of the depressed classes to reach the mainstream of social, economic and political life. As Abdul Aziz, in his 1996 publication, ‘Decentralised governance in Asian countries’, by Sage; and Mathew George in […]

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EWRs – The story of Maharashtra

Maharashtra was awarded the first position for incremental devolution of power under the Panchayat Empowerment and Accountability Incentive Scheme (PEAIS); third position in Cumulative Devolution; and the e-Panchayat Award for its effective village-oriented computer programme— ‘SANGRAM’ for the year 2011-12. These achievements may be alluded to the presence of 50 per cent elected women representatives […]

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Emerging dimensions of grass root women leaders

Sivani Mogra Panchayat, Bhandara District, Maharashtra: Enforcing identity An all women gram sabha and its chairperson focused on identity, recognition and celebration of womanhood in society. Today, women’s names are written on residence nameplates and the panchayat records the woman’s name as the head of the house.   Zari Panchayat, Nanded District, Maharashtra: Fighting malnutrition […]

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Decoding how gender responsive panchayati raj institutions are

Panchayati raj institutions | Policy In a 2011-12 study to understand whether or not panchayati raj institutions are gender responsive, the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) examined strategic gender issues that are raised and discussed in these spaces, and the factors that influence these discussions. Attention to strategic gender issues challenge women’s status […]

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