Earlier it was difficult for women to get elected as ward members or a sarpanch. There is no representation for women even though they are 50% of the population. In parliament, it was decided that at least 1/3rd of all panchayat ward members and sarpanches will be reserved for them. Only women have to contest for those seats. In our state reservation to women extended to 50%.
Similarly, reservations are provided for SC/ST/BCs also. Panchayats function as representative institutions of all people in the rural areas.