All six wards of Koppavali village in Tiruchy have voted unanimously for an all-women administration. The formation of this panchayat is an important land-mark in the call for women empowerment.

Key Takeaways:

  • Koppavali village in Tiruchy residents vote for an all women panchayat.
  • Selvarani was chosen president of this term.
  • Women representation in local bodies empowers fellow women to take up leadership roles.
  • 37 million women have taken up leadership roles across the country, hence breaking through patriarchal resistances.

An all-female council

Koppavali’s 1100 voters chose P. Selvarani as the president for this term. She actively wishes for the development of the village and wants to start by establishing a Primary Health Centre for the residents. Moreover, she wishes to make her village a model village by maintaining its cleanliness. Furthermore, Kavitha Dhananathan, Mano Dhandayudhapani, Jayalalithaa Dhinakaran, Kalpana Suresh, Gayathri Prabhu and Shanthi Murugesan proved to be promising leaders for the wards one through six. The participants contested for the first time and the elections were relaxed as compared with others across the district.

“This time, we decided we wanted to be a model village by electing women,” K.S.T. Paneerselvam, former panchayat president, told The Hindu.

History of women representation in Koppavali

The former president of the panchayat stated the idea to have an all-women administration which received unanimous support. The residents encouraged 100 percent involvement of women, although only 50 percent necessary reservation for women candidates is needed.

Koppavali has shown increasing participation of women in panchayat elections over the years. In 2006,  five men and two women were elected. The previous tenure saw a representation of both men and women and this year they created history by choosing an all women representation.

Why women representation

This representation of women in local bodies shall encourage other women to take up leadership roles. Moreover, it will bring more women-related issues to light. These women leaders are like families to the locals and this shall encourage residents to skip hesitation while filing any discomfort.

More women leaders at the local level

Women Sarpanchs are flipping the tables as they break through the ingrained patriarchy. Kala Devi, sarpanch of a Himachal Pradesh panchayat told UN how she lifted a ban on menstruating women visiting temples. Additionally, women leaders of these local bodies are talking about training girls in information technology, installation of solar panels in their villages etc.

People show resistance when women tend to take charge of the leadership position. Older people hold a high degree of reverence in local communities and usually oppose women taking charge. The village Koppavali sets an example for all panchayats across the nation by empowering its women. This changing structure of rural governance has brought about 1.37 million women representatives.

An all women administration will encourage women to take up leadership roles.

In spite of all odds, women continue to prove their mettle at every stage of legislation and governance in our country. The times are changing as women representation is being demanded on every decision making table.  Moreover as women continue to lead by example, young girls spread their wings and soar in the skies of immense opportunities. By the visible progress so far, a dream of equal gender roles is only getting closer.

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Vipashyana Dubey is an intern with SheThePeople.TV

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