Can the Female Sarpanch Deliver ? #womenrights #reservation


EPW-Vol – XLVIII No. 11, March 16, 2013 | Dhanmanjiri Sathe, Stephan Klasen, Jan Priebe, and Mithila Biniwale

This study examines the impact of mandated reservations for female sarpanch (elected heads of gram panchayats) on perceptions of service delivery and women’s democratic participation. Using survey data from Sangli district in Maharashtra, it finds that the availability of basic public services is significantly higher in female sarpanch villages compared to the male sarpanch villages when the former have been in the job for three to three-and-a-half years. Indeed, reservations have had a significant positive impact on the democratic participation of women in female sarpanch villages though the positive effects in terms of service delivery and democratic participation will take some more time to materialise.

Conclusions

we found that the male sarpanch had somewhat
better economic, social and educational status and better
political connections as compared to the female sarpanch. In
spite of this, the female sarpanch seem to have had interesting
and important impacts.

Equally importantly, we find that the political participation
of the women is a signifi cant causal factor in explaining the
services availability. Additionally, political participation of

women is higher in female sarpanch villages as compared to
male sarpanch villages for elections held both one year back
and three-and-a-half years back and such higher participation,
combined with a female leader, further increases service
availability. Thus, having a female sarpanch affects the political
participation of women in a village positively and it is likely to
be through this channel that the availability of services

improves over a period of three to three-and-a-half years. The
policy implication that comes out of this is that mandated
reservation for female sarpanch would work better if the time
period is increased from fi ve years to (say) 10 years. Thus,
instead of increasing reservation for women to 50% as has
been done, or in addition to it, it may be a good step if the
time period of reservation is increased as well.

 

Read the full study here

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: A village that plants 111 trees for every girl born in Rajasthan | Forum against Sex Selection (FASS)
  2. Trackback: Gujarat- Dalit woman sarpanch who ‘stands against’ predecessors sent to jail #Vaw | kracktivist

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