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Political Participation of Women in Panchayats: A comparative study of Raiganj and Islampur Blocks of Uttar Dinajpur District, West Bengal, India- Issues and Trends

In recent years women empowerment has become a significant issue among academicians, social workers, and policy decision-makers in India. After the successful establishment of the Panchayat system as well as reservations for women in the local bodies, there has been a tremendous change in the number of women representatives in PRIs. But women empowerment is not an easy process rather, that needs a change in the mindset of the patriarchal society, social institutions, and far more determined effort on the part of the women representatives. Sometimes it becomes difficult to serve political duties for the women representatives in this present situation where there is a lack of proper knowledge, lack of education, lots of dependencies, family influence, and so on. In this light, the present study is an attempt to examine the socio-economic conditions and experiences of the elected women representatives of Gram Panchayats of Raiganj and Islampur Blocks and their participation in different sectors of grassroots politics. The whole study is based on empirical data which have been collected through field survey.

Keywords: Empowerment, Gram Panchayat, gender discrimination, Political Culture

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