As part of its 100-day action plan, the Congress-led UPA government is pushing for the Women’s Reservation Bill, which seeks to reserve 33 per cent seats in parliament for women.

The UPA has also promised to give women 50 percent seats in local government institutions like the village council, up from the 33 percent of seats currently reserved for them.

That measure has  been in place for over a decade and a half. But has it done any good?

Initially, it was  feared that elected women would be no more than “dumb dolls”, manipulated into endorsing decisions taken by their husbands and other family members.

But a government-sponsored study in 2008 of elected women representatives in village councils has shown encouraging results.