Breaking the mud ceiling
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India, Feb. 27 -- In the last two decades, the gender landscape in rural India has been slowly greening and women are now on the cusp of a powerful social and political revolution. The harbinger of this change is a unique policy experiment in village-level governance that has brought transformative results for the weakest of the weak and the poorest of the poor: The village women. In 1993, India introduced the Panchayati Raj Act, mandating a three-tiered structure of local governance at the village, block and district levels with reservation of one-third of all posts in gram panchayats (village councils) at the bottom tier of India's decentralised governance system, for women. The vision was that these women-headed councils would bring gr...
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