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New Perspectives on Women’s Empowerment and Grassroots Democracy in India: Case Study of a Women's NGO in Rural Uttar Pradesh

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Abstract:

The Indian democracy is in the throes of change. There are two striking developments in this regard in rural India. The first pertains to the 73rd Constitutional Amendment, enacted in 1993, making elections to rural local self government bodies mandatory, and guaranteeing the reservation of a percentage of seats for women in these bodies. The second development pertains to the rapid growth of grassroots NGOs, many of which work with women. Both the developments contribute in different ways to deepening grassroots democracy, and are connected to the goal of women’s empowerment. In this paper, I propose to examine the dilemmas, contradictions and challenges, produced as a result of conflicts and convergences between those involved in local electoral politics and ‘non-political’ or ‘apolitical’ NGO activism. I explore what sort of relationships actually exist, what they are assumed to be, and what they should be between grassroots NGOs and local self government institutions for grassroots democracy to take root in rural India. I highlight the rural women’s own positions and perspectives. My paper engages with the empirical specificities of the state, NGO activism and rural women, and with theorisation on state and civil society.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

women (150), dalit (137), polit (135), elect (117), vms (76), ngo (70), panchayat (69), villag (63), contest (52), power (46), associ (44), candid (42), societi (42), one (37), local (37), self (36), also (35), group (35), help (34), state (33), quot (32),

Author's Keywords:

women's empowerment, grassroots democracy, NGO activism
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Name: Midwest Political Science Association 67th Annual National Conference
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http://www.indiana.edu/~mpsa/


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Govinda, Radhika. "New Perspectives on Women’s Empowerment and Grassroots Democracy in India: Case Study of a Women's NGO in Rural Uttar Pradesh" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association 67th Annual National Conference, The Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, IL, Apr 02, 2009 <Not Available>. 2013-12-12 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p361583_index.html>

APA Citation:

Govinda, R. , 2009-04-02 "New Perspectives on Women’s Empowerment and Grassroots Democracy in India: Case Study of a Women's NGO in Rural Uttar Pradesh" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association 67th Annual National Conference, The Palmer House Hilton, Chicago, IL Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2013-12-12 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p361583_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: The Indian democracy is in the throes of change. There are two striking developments in this regard in rural India. The first pertains to the 73rd Constitutional Amendment, enacted in 1993, making elections to rural local self government bodies mandatory, and guaranteeing the reservation of a percentage of seats for women in these bodies. The second development pertains to the rapid growth of grassroots NGOs, many of which work with women. Both the developments contribute in different ways to deepening grassroots democracy, and are connected to the goal of women’s empowerment. In this paper, I propose to examine the dilemmas, contradictions and challenges, produced as a result of conflicts and convergences between those involved in local electoral politics and ‘non-political’ or ‘apolitical’ NGO activism. I explore what sort of relationships actually exist, what they are assumed to be, and what they should be between grassroots NGOs and local self government institutions for grassroots democracy to take root in rural India. I highlight the rural women’s own positions and perspectives. My paper engages with the empirical specificities of the state, NGO activism and rural women, and with theorisation on state and civil society.

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Document Type: application/pdf
Page count: 18
Word count: 11765
Text sample:
Radhika Govinda University of Cambridge Please do not cite or quote without author’s prior consent. New Perspectives on Women’s Empowerment and Grassroots Democracy in India Case Study of a Women’s NGO in Rural Uttar Pradesh Introduction It was the month before the Panchayat (local government) elections in the summer of 2005 that I first visited Vimukt Mahila Samuh (VMS) a rural women’s NGO in Chitrakoot district of Uttar Pradesh north India. The district was abuzz with election gossip: who
‘Women in Panchayati Raj: Grassroots Democracy in India Experience from Malgudi’ background paper 4 Meeting on Women and Political Participation: 21st Century Challenges United Nations Development Programme 24-26 March 1999 New Delhi http://mirror.undp.org/magnet/events/gender/india/VYASULU3.htm (last accessed on 29 September 2008) White G. (1994) ‘Civil society democratisation and development (I): clearing the analytical ground’ Democratization 1 (3): 375-90 Whitehead L. (1997) ‘Bowling in the bronx: the uncivil interstices between civil and political Society’ Democratization 4 (1): 94-114 18


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