Academic journal article Review of Management

Leadership at the Grassroots: Positioning Women in Patriarchal Society

Academic journal article Review of Management

Leadership at the Grassroots: Positioning Women in Patriarchal Society

Article excerpt


The history of Panchayati Raj institution is 1000 years old and it was the oldest Ancient Indian Institution because the villagers were little republics governed by their Panchayat. It was also the male dominated institution because due to a patriarchal set up women were not got priority to participate in the said institution. Even during British rule as viewed that they were premature to take part and it was the politics of male (Bhagat 2005). At last after a long period of India's Independence it was realized and statutory rules was come into force in 1993 after 73rd Amendment of the Panchayat Raj Institution Act, 1959(Nanda 2006). The participation of women through reservation was introduced after considering them as disadvantaged group required a solution to their discrimination (Gowda 1998). It was evident that the women were victimized by the patriarchal politics. Only education and employment for the women were not enough good for their equal rights and justice as the Feminist Movement claimed. A vast majority of our population was indifferent about the development planning and implementation undertaken by the Government. They were just as home makers and their role was only procreation and nurturance of their future generation. But the reservation has been done to make the state sensitive to the issue of poverty, inequality and gender injustice (Kanango, 1998).

In West Bengal women's participation in Panchayat was quite different in respect of all other states of India. The West Bengal Panchayat Act, 1973 was come into force effectively when left front Govt, had been started its journey because the political environment had a strong influence on meaningful participation of the people regardless of gender, caste and race( B. Tsiane and F. Youngman (eds.), 1985). The said Govt, was realized that the women' participation was urgent to reduce gender disparity and political empowerment of women would be the right step for their all-round development (Ghatak and Ghatak, 1999). That's why West Bengal Panchayat (Amendment) Act 1992 (West Bengal Act XVII of 1992) was enacted and on the basis of those provisions, elections to the Panchayat bodies had been held in 1993, 1998, 2003 and 2008, and the representation of women in the Panchayat bodies had varied generally from 34% to 38% of the total number of members. But it reminds that political participation depends on an individual's political stimuli, individual's personal characteristics and individual's social characteristics in which the individual finds himself/herself (Milbrath and Goel, 1977).

However the changing scenario of women's participation was also politics to waive the victory in election. It was seen that political parties were used it as a new technique to defeat their counter contestant. It was evident that these women were not so interest and education regarding their participation. They had been chosen only to meet their self or husband or any other personal interest in this case. That's why after a long experience of participation they were eventually silent in action when their own gender had been attacking or facing violence in various forms with their family or outside. Their participation in development planning or their own opinion was not getting priority. They are yet abused by the male tactics and their function as puppet because the traditional male's dependence and slavery is the inherited social, political and economic as well cultural root of the society.

Objective of the Study

In India the patriarchal domination has a long history and the detailed progress of the society is due to gender discrimination and improper environment for women development and progress. Eventually they had no voice in societal affairs and they were the silent spectators of the overall situation. But properties right and participation in electoral process (voting right) are the steps to move forward towards women's equity and justice. …

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