Accepted paper:

Women as elected head of the rural local governments in India: assessment of performance in implementation of development programmes


Amaresh Dubey (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
Purva Yadav (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

Paper short abstract:

The Indian constitution mandated 33% reservation for women in the local governance empowering them as decision makers in the implementation of government initiated development schemes. This paper examines the impact of women's role on the development outcomes of two such schemes in rural India.

Paper long abstract:

The Indian constitution provides thirty three percent reservation to women in the governance of local Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI) since 1993 as elected representatives. A direct consequence of it is the leadership role women have in decision making in implementation of the government initiated development programmes. In this paper we examine whether the PRIs headed by the women perform better in implementing development programmes with a special focus on the mid-day meal scheme for the rural children attending primary and upper primary schools and (Indian) National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) launched in 2006. Using a unique data from the India Human Development Survey (IHDS), a large repeated household survey during 2004-05 and 2011-12, we examine changes in the lives of households (N=27,000, approximately) selected from about 1500 villages located in 33 Indian states and union territories. In IHDS surveys, information on various development schemes implemented in the villages along with the structure of PRIs is reported. We analyse the performance of the NREGA and mid-day meal schemes to see whether local governments in the villages headed by the women perform better than the other villages.

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