‘Panchayat’, being “Local government”, is a state subject and part of state list of Seventh Schedule of Constitution of India. Clause (3) of Article 243D of the Constitution ensures participation of women in Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) by mandating not less than one- third reservation for women out of total number of seats to be filled by direct election and number of offices of chairpersons of Panchayats. According to the Ministry Panchayati Raj, 20 states namely Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand and West Bengal have made provisions of 50 percent reservation for women in Panchayati Raj Institutions in their respective State Panchayati Raj Acts.
Number of Women Representatives in Panchayati Raj Institutions
|State / UTs||Total PRI representatives||Total women representatives in PRIs|
|Andaman & Nicobar Islands||858||306|
|Dadra & Nagar Haveli||147||47|
|Daman & Diu||192||92|
|Jammu & Kashmir||39,850||13,224|
Source: Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India
In terms of clause (4) of Article 243D of the Constitution, the offices of the chairpersons in the Panchayats at the village or any other level shall be reserved for the scheduled castes, the scheduled tribes and women in such manner as the legislature of a state may, by law, provide, provided that the number of offices of chairpersons reserved for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in the Panchayats at each level in any state shall bear, as nearly as may be, the same proportion to the total number of such offices in the Panchayats at each level as the population of the scheduled castes or the scheduled tribes in the state bears to the total population of the state, provided further that not less than one-third of the total number of offices of chairpersons in the Panchayats at each level shall be reserved for women.