Increase in family support for women elected to panchayats

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New Delhi, Jul 14 (UNI) Family support for elected women panchayat members increases with the family members sharing the responsibilities in household chores like cooking and looking after children.

Thirty per cent of women representatives say that the time devoted by them to household chores has decreased after getting elected. But for 62 per cent it has remained the same. Some evidences even show an increased involvement of other family members in sharing the household work of the elected representatives. Of those who reported a reduction in their involvement in household responsibilities after being elected, 60 per cent mentioned an increase in the support provided by their families.

Regarding change in time spent in looking after the children before and after being elected, a decline in this role was reported by 29 per cent of elected women candidates of whom 63 per cent also reported an increase in the support of family members.

For women, it appeared that support from family members played an important roles in terms of their own perception of their roles in the panchayats. Supportive environment not only makes it easier to enter politics but also enables elected representatives to carve out a political career and remain committed to it over a longer period of time.

Getting elected as a Pradhan or a Ward member brings with it the responsibility for taking significant initiatives for ensuring the development of the village community. This process becomes easier if elected representatives are successful in getting support across various religious and caste groups- if not before then, at least after their election.

About 91 per cent, irrespective of position and gender, claimed to have received such recognition in the village.

This friendly and conducive environment is apparently an opportunity that two-thirds of elected candidates are proactive in exploiting by increasing their social interaction after election.

The process of entering into politics involves many challenges and problems at the local level, not least among them is the specter of conflicts with other caste groups. Overall, however, only a small proportion reported facing such situations after being elected both in the current as also in earlier elections.

The difference by position or by gender is not very significant, nor is there much variation across states.


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