Research Scholar, Centre for Women’s Studies, A.M.U, Aligarh. Email id. firstname.lastname@example.org
This paper traces the origin and development of the origin of the Panchayati Raj System in West Bengal. The Panchayati Raj can be traced to Bengal Chawkidari Act which was passed by Lord Mayo in 1870, the resolution issued by Lord Rippon in 1882, Bengal Local Self Government Act of 1885, Bengal Village Self Government Act of 1919 and West Bengal Panchayat Act of 1957.The act of 1957 introduced two tiers- gram panchayats and anchalik Panchayats and district boards continued as Zilla Parishad. Before 1993 elections which were held on the basis of reservation one third seats for women, there were less than 1 per cent women members elected to different panchayat bodies in West Bengal. If they were not elected, then they were nominated. After 1993, the number of women representatives increased to 35 percent in Gram Panchayats, 33 percent in Panchayat Samiti and 34 percent in Zilla Parishad.
Keywords: Panchayati Raj Institutions, West Bengal, Participation of women