“They Want To Show Us Our ‘Place’. We Will Continue To Show Up” Shahida Banu Takes Head-On Patriarchal Mores

Shahida Banu’s decision to run for the seat of a sarpanch of Kuraj panchayat in Rajsamand district of Rajasthan was met with great resistance from the …

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Dalit And Adivasi Women Leaders Secure Community Rights

Surta Bairwa (33), the former Dalit Sarpanch of  Srirampura Panchayat in Rajasthan’s Tonk district had enough of the centuries old dominance of the upper caste Gurjars. …

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Krishnaveni’s Story And The Era Of Women Panchayat Presidents

Thalaiyuthu panchayat, Tirunelveli district (Tamil Nadu): P Krishnaveni remembers the night of 13 June, 2011, clear as day. Barely 200 m from her home of 15 …

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The Triumph Of Sharmila Devi And Tamil Nadu’s Women Leaders

Thirumanvayal Panchayat, Sivagangai District (Tamil Nadu): Sharmila Devi (39), the youngest dalit sarpanch of Thirumanvayal panchayat in southern Tamil Nadu’s Sivagangai district, has pulled off what none …

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Meagre Funds, No Salary: How Tamil Nadu’s Women Leaders Still Succeed

Nachangulam Panchayat, Sivagangai district (Tamil Nadu): What is it like to do a full-time job without a salary? Especially if you are a dalit or an adivasi …

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Why Muthukanni, A Dalit, Had To Build Her Own Panchayat Office

Madhavakurichi Panchayat, Tirunelveli district, Tamil Nadu: It wasn’t personal ambition that drove K Muthukanni to stand for election as panchayat president from Madhavakurichi in Mannur block of …

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Tamil Nadu’s Women Leaders Live, Work In The Shadow Of Violence

Urapakkam (Kancheepuram district), Tamil Nadu: Even by normal standards of violence in Tamil Nadu’s panchayat politics, the events of March 29, 2001, were troubling. Menaka, 35, the …

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Why 277,160 Women Leaders Remain Invisible To Tamil Nadu’s Political Parties

Chennai: Salma (50), the deputy secretary of the women’s wing of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), is among the few women to have made the transition from …

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Why Ashubi Khan’s Pioneering Run Ends Today

Mewat (Haryana): Ashubi Khan, 51, is distraught. A decade of trailblazing work done by this tall, soft-spoken sarpanch (village chief) and her team of seven illiterate women–and three literate …

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Illiterate, Married at 11, Mother At 12: Panchayat President Now Changes Fates

Padiganalam, Krishnagiri district (Tamil Nadu): Married against her wishes at 11 to her dead sister’s husband, Sidhamallamma Kanchappa gave birth to her first child at home when …

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