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Evaluate the Participation Level of Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) in Panchayati Raj Institutions and Challenges Faced by them: A Study of Kadwa Block in Katihar of Bihar

Social Work Chronicle

Volume 4 Issue 1 & 2

Published: 2015
Author(s) Name: Shahadat Hussain | Author(s) Affiliation: Statistical Officer,DSHM and Parttime Academic Counselor cum Field Work Supervisor,Social Work,India
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Even after 68 years of independence and 23 years of implementation of 73rd amendment devolving 29 subjects to the panchayats and reserving 33% of the seats for women at panchayat level, Elected Women Representatives (EWR) are on the margin, dependent on their husbands, other male family members as the case may be in Kadwa block of Katihar District of Bihar. The EWR are mere proxies to their husband, male family members, who cannot fight election and hold offices due to the reservation of seats for the disadvantages section including women. There are numerous challenges facing EWRs like low level of education, patriarchal society, cultural norms, household liabilities, economic concerns etc, preventing their effective participation in governance process. Mere reserving the seats for the disadvantages including women and implementing them half-heartedly and in piecemeal steps will not put the women and disadvantaged to the fore front and undo the historical injustices meted out to them, but the state has to adopt integrated, whole hearted approach to ensure full participation of the women representatives in the process of the governance.

Keywords: Panchayats, Participation, Elected Women Representatives (EWR)

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