The present book is an outcome of UGC-Major Research Project titled “Women Exclusion and Empowerment in Local Self Government of Rural Tamil Nadu”. Further, it tries to assess the contributions of these women for the development of rural masses. This book has been arranged in six chapters as indicated below:
The first chapter is the introduction about the Women, Rural Self-Government in India and PRIs. It explains the origin of concept, the concept of social exclusion, gender exclusion, empowerment of women, women empowerment and political participation, history of Panchayati Raj, inclusive policy for gender representation in rural local government in India and Tamil Nadu are discussed in detail.
In the second chapter on Review of Literature, various literatures in terms of books, journals, articles, reports related to the focus area of the book and the like have been reviewed. It also points out how the focus area of the book is different from various studies.
The third chapter deals with the Research Methodology convened in the book, objectives of the focus area, Sources of data and sampling, tools of data collection, process and analysis of the data and limitations of the study.
The fourth chapter on Analysis focuses on the composition, socio-economic and political background of the Elected Women Representatives (EWRs) of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs). In this chapter, the primary data collected from the selected elected women representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions have been analysed. It deals with the representatives’ personal information like age, educational status, religion, marital status, type of family, occupational status, monthly income, and political background of life partners and family members. It also describes the contribution of elected women representatives to Rural Development.
The fifth chapter narrates the nature and extent of participation and governance by women representatives in Panchayati Raj, the extent of internal development of EWRs in PRIs, the level of empowerment of women representatives before and after occupying their present position, the factors inhibiting women’s role in Panchayati Raj. Further, it explains the influence of selected socio – economic factors such as positions, age, education, community, type of family, age at entry in politics and membership on participation, internal development, empowerment, inhibiting factors and rural development.
The sixth chapter reveals the major findings and conclusion of the book along with recommendations.