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Journal of Social Welfare and Management

Volume  1, Issue 4, October-December 2009, Pages 131-144

Original Article

Political issues involved in women’s development

Anjali Kurane, Jyoti Shetty

*Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology; **Research Student, Department of Anthropology, University of Pune.

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Development is a value laden concept that improves socio-cultural, economic, material and nonmaterial well-being of the society. Anjali Kurane (2005) says “development means increase in material wealth through productivity, increase in social well-being through education, health, improvement in social content of the human life, community feeling, music, art, safety, freedom, opportunity, sense of participation in local, regional and national affairs, depending on the individual interest and preferences”. Though women constitute half of any country's human endowment, they are exploited and marginalized in each and every walk of life such as food, health, education, economy, and political participation and suffer from lack of fundamental needs and amenities. The political empowerment of women is one of the most important aspects in the overall empowerment of women. Even after five decades of the grant of political equality, statistics over the years reveal that while there is visible gender equality at the voter level, gender visibility within the power structures show cause for women concern. Therefore the present study examines the political issues involved in women's development. Pune city was selected for the research as it is characterized by cultural, educational, military, religious and industrial centres. The important areas and suburbs of Pune city such as Pune station, Aundh, Shivajinagar, Kirkee, Pimpri, Yerwada, Nigdi, Bhosari and Chinchwad- were selected as research areas for the study. The present study has focused on Maharashtrian women of Pune and Purposive sampling method was used for the study, were participants were selected with known characteristics. A combination of qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection was used. Quantitative data was collected through pre-tested structured interview schedule. Un-structured interview schedule were employed in group interviews, were the discussions were informal in nature mainly aimed at collecting maximum information. The case study method was also employed for intensive investigation. In India the participation of women in political activities and programs is of recent origin. In the past it was felt that politics was the exclusive field of men but with the development of society, it was felt that women should be encouraged to participate in the political field. It is seen that almost all women under study participated in voting, exercised their vote with lot of independence and did not consult anyone on whom to vote and are aware that each vote is important as it decides the destiny of a party which is a significant change from the traditional days.

Corresponding Author : Anjali Kurane