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Impact Assessment Of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme On Rural Women Empowerment

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The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) provides a legal Guarantee of 100 days of wage employment in a financial year to every rural household. It is also committed to ensure that at least 33% of the workers shall be women. Thus MNREGA is playing a substantial role in improving women economically, thereby leading to greater independence and self respect. The present study aims to analyze the impact of MGNREGS on women empowerment in Tirunelveli District of Tamilnadu. The present study has followed stratified sampling method. The study revealed that women participation under the scheme was much more than the men participation in the entire 8 sample Gram Panchayats (70.5 percent). Hence, the impact of the scheme on their income level was very high 5 sample Gram panchayats which has received 100 days of employment in a year. Consequently, 56 percent women respondents stated that the income level of women has increased after the implementation of the scheme. When one starts earning by herself, it is a kind of gaining more responsibility and attaining economic independence. The responses elicited by the women respondents on their participation in decision making in the family regarding expenditure and savings indicated that in spite of the income level having increased among the women beneficiaries, the percentage of women respondents were 55.8 percent participated in decision making process connected with economic matters. Independent and monetized income have increased consumption choices and reduced financial dependence. This has helped women in registering their real contribution to the household’s income. Their increased attendance in the gram sabha, the increasing number of women speaking out in the gram sabha, repeated interactions with government officials and access to banks and post offices are new developments. Then, the scheme will be very dynamic socio-economic energy to empower rural women in this century.

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