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Punjab Bans Proxy of Sarpanches

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The Punjab Government has decided to ban Sarpanch in any meeting of Panchayati Raj Institutions instead of giving words to empower women behind the scenes.

What’s the issue?

Most of the women sarpanchs do not come to the meetings. Instead, male family members of several women sarpanches were attending official meetings on their behalf. Some male members also sign documents on their behalf.

How does this affect the system?

Talking about a Panchayat body, a ‘Panchayat’, being “local government”, is a state subject and is part of the State List of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India.
By the 73rd Constitutional Amendment, one third of the seats in Panchayats were reserved for women. Many states increased the amount of reserved seats to fifty percent. Its aim was to empower women and ensure their participation in the political process and decision making at the grassroots level.
Punjab has also made a provision for 50% reservation for women in Panchayati Raj Institutions in their respective State Panchayati Raj Acts. Clause (3) of Article 243D of the Constitution enshrines the participation of women in Panchayati Raj Institutions, which mandates reservation of at least one-third for women out of the total number of seats to be filled by direct election and the number of offices of chairpersons.
Proxy Sarpanch undermines the rights of women and prevents the election of women who want to bring change in the society through a career in politics. This is not only making fun of women’s reservation in Panchayati Raj Institutions but also other deserving women candidates. also appears to be an obstacle.

Reasons for the emergence of ‘Proxy Sarpanch’:

(1) Resistance due to social constraints
(2) Poor social status of women
(3) Poor level of literacy
(4) confined to domestic places
lack of financial independence
(5) Lack of Skills: Lack of capacity building, training, or efforts to build confidence in women.
(6) Failure of the Government to take appropriate action against such malpractices and gross abuse of power.

Necessary measures

There is a need to do additional work on capacity building of women in matters of governance. It can be done by. Raising the awareness of the society about the rights of women
To sensitize the bureaucracy about the relevance of women’s participation at the Panchayat level. There is a need to remove the social barriers caused by the traditional society.

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