Political reservation for women has been seen to improve different policy outcomes. This paper examines the impact of political reservation for women for the seat of village head and woman’s descriptive representation in the local government on improving provision of and accessing maternal health services. The paper uses the Indian Human development survey collected in 2011 to analyse the research objectives. The paper also make use of qualitative interviews conducted in Assam, India to understand the challenges that female village leaders might face in effectively participating in the decision-making process. This paper is going to depart from the existing literature on three accounts, firstly the paper will focus on actual policy outcomes namely maternal health outcomes, secondly, apart from focussing just on the impact of reservations for the village head position the paper will also be looking at the impact of an increase in women village council members and finally the paper used the Indian Human Development Survey data collected on 2011 to analyse this research topic. The paper finds that women in reserved villages are more likely to get better maternal health care as compared women residing in villages with a male head. Another interesting finding is that villages with a female head who has not been elected on a seat reserved for women outperform villages reserved for women. The paper also observes that an increase in the number of women in the village council either do not impact or negatively impact the provision of or access to maternal health services. The paper concludes that reservation alone cannot impact policy outcomes, it is only when the female policy makers are empowered both by structural and social changes can there be an actual change in maternal health outcomes.

Additional Metadata
Keywords political reservation, woman empowerment, substantive representation
Thesis Advisor Kurian, R. (Rachel)
Persistent URL hdl.handle.net/2105/41854
Series Governance and Development Policy (GDP)
Mathur, Saumya. (2017, December 15). From reservation to public service provision: impact of reservations for women in government on maternal health. Governance and Development Policy (GDP). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/41854