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Prelims Capsule

Vulnerable Sections

Model policy for Women in Police


  • 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

Mains  Question

What are Steps taken to end Patriarchy in Police Force?