50 per cent quota for women in Kerala local bodies

This means that half of the 999 gram panchayats (village councils), 152 block panchayats and 14 district panchayats in the state will have women as presidents and vice-presidents. Similarly, half of the 62 municipalities will have women chairpersons and deputy chairpersons while three of the five city corporations will have women mayors and deputy mayors.

The bill also provides for 50 per cent women’s representation in district planning committees and state development councils.

Women also get half of the seats reserved for Scheduled Castes and Schedules Tribes in these bodies.

The new law will take effect in the local body elections slated for next year. As of now, about 6,850 of the 20,554 elected representatives in these bodies are women.
 The state had reserved 33 per cent seats for women in the local bodies in 1991, a year before the Centre introduced similar reservation through an amendment in the Panchayati Raj Act.

Left Democratic Front  convener Vaikkom Viswam said the ruling coalition had decided to give equal representation to women in local governance in a bid to empower them.
“This would help women to have a decisive say on issues concerning development of their area,” he noted.

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