Magazine

English Hindi

Index

100 Expected Questions

Prelims Capsule

Vulnerable Sections

Model policy for Women in Police

Relevance:

  • GS 2 || Governance & Social Justice || Vulnerable Sections || Women

Why In News?

With rising number of women in police, the need for a concerted policy for women in police is increasingly felt.

What is the need?

  • Women constitute about 7% of the police strength in India.
  • This is expected to rise, with many States and UTs providing for 30% (and more) reservation for women in the police in specific ranks.
  • However, not a single State police department has attempted to draft a specific policy for this.
  • Merely adopting reservation to increase gender diversity without considering the need for policymaking would do little help.
  • Thus, there is a need for a model policy to make policing inclusive, non-discriminatory and efficient.

What should it contain?

Increasing the numbers – Increasing the number of women police is one of the first steps to ensure a level playing field for women.

  • Beyond merely providing reservation, police departments should develop an action plan to achieve the target of 30% or more in a time-bound manner.
  • This also applies to States that have not provided a quota as yet.
  • Departments should also undertake special recruitment drives in every district to ensure geographical diversity.
  • The police should also reach out to the media and educational institutions to spread awareness about opportunities for women in the police.
  • Current data reveal that most women in the police are concentrated in the lower ranks; efforts should be made to change this.

Gender equality – There exists a tendency to sideline women, or give them policing tasks that are physically less demanding.

  • They are being confined to desk duty, or made to work on crimes against women alone.
  • The model policy should thus strive to ensure that decisions on deployment of women are free of gender stereotyping.
  • This is essential to facilitate the presence and participation of women in leading operational positions.
  • Women police officers should be encouraged to take on public order and investigative crimes of all types.
  • Desk work too must be allocated evenly among men and women.

Support system – A major burden of family and childcare responsibilities falls on women.

  • But police departments still lack proper internal childcare support systems.
  • Departments need to be mindful of this social reality and exercise sensitivity in making decisions on transfers and posting of women personnel.
  • Most State police departments have received funds under the Modernisation of State Police Forces Scheme.
  • This is for providing separate toilets and changing rooms for women, and for constructing separate accommodation for women in all police stations and units.
  • Police departments must ensure the best use of this fund.

Complaints Committee – Police departments must ensure safe working spaces for women and adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards discrimination and harassment.

  • Departments must operationalise the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act of 2013.
  • Departments are legally bound to set up Internal Complaints Committees to prevent sexual harassment at the workplace.

Additional References

https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/a-model-policy-for-women-in-the-police/article26524978.ece

Mains  Question

What are Steps taken to end Patriarchy in Police Force?