: Government Intervention
Commission for Women
National Commission for Women was set up as statutory body in January
1992 under the National Commission for Women Act, 1990 ( Act No.
20 of 1990 of Govt.of India ) to review the Constitutional and legal
safeguards for women; recommend remedial legislative measures, facilitate
redressal of grievances and advise the Government on all policy
matters affecting women.
Committee on the Status of Women in India ( CSWI ) recommended
nearly two decades ago, the setting up of a National Commission
for women to fulfill the surveillance functions to fecilitate
redressal of grievances and to accelerate the socio-economic development
Successive Committees / Commissions / Plans including the National
Perspective Plan for Women ( 1988-2000 ) recommended the constitution
of an apex body for women.
During 1990, the central government held consultations with NGOs,
social workers and experts, regarding the structure, functions,
powers etc.of the Commission proposed to be set up.
In May 1990, the Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha.
In July 1990, the HRD Ministry organised a National Level Conference
to elicit suggestions regarding the Bill. In August 1990 the government
moved several amendments and introduced new provisions to vest
the commission with the power of a civil court.
The Bill was passed and received accent of the President on 30th
The First Commission was constituted on 31st January 1992 with
Mrs. Jayanti Patnaik as the Chairperson. The Second Commission
was constituted on July 1995 with Dr. (Mrs.) Mohini Giri as the
Chairperson. The Third Commission has been constituted and the
government has nominated Mrs. Vibha Parthasarathy as the Chairperson.
National Commission for Women plans to take up the following issues
in the year 2002 :
Prevention of Child Marriage
A Bal Vivah Virodh Abhiyan is proposed to be mounted at all India
level with the involvement of State Commissions for Women and /or
NGOs in each State on Akha Teej when mass child marriages are solemnised
Violence Against Women
An action plan to combat 'violence against women' would be prepared
and launched. The plan would take into consideration the earlier
recommendations of the Commission.
The Family Courts Act, 1984 provides that every State shall set
up a Family Court 10 lac population. However, India has only 85
Family Courts. The Commission plans to focus on the issue so as
to build pressure on States to set up Family Courts. A national
workshop is proposed to be held in March, 2002, which would, inter
alia, discuss the steps needed to be taken for improving the working
of Family Courts by sharing of good practices.
The Commission had prepared course curicula for gender sensitization
of : -
Decade of Women's Empowerment
The Media The Commission would take steps to have the curricula
operationalised in the respective training academies.
Government of India had declared the year 2001 as the Year of Women's
Empowerment. The Commission has already written to the Government
to observe - 2001 - 2010 - as the Decade of Women's Empowerment. The
Commission plans to carry on the empowerment agenda for the entire
The Commission is concerned about the indiscriminate promotion of
tourism as trafficking of girls to centres of tourism is on the
increase. This was Commission's feedbback in Goa, where it held
a regional meeting of the South-Western States, in which the participants
included the State Comimissions and NGOs of this region. The Commission
has sponsored two studies on the subject both on the East and West
Social Empowerment Camps
So far NCW has been sponsoring Legal Awareness Camps. It now proposes
to broaden the base and instead create awareness about a spectrum
of social issues and disseminate information about schemes available
to women and how to access them through "Social Awareness Camps".
Use of Elected Women Power at the Grass Roots.
its efforts to tacking the above issues, the Commission plans to
move ahead with the help of elected women in Panchayati Raj and
Urban Local Bodies so as to reach the women at the grass roots.
Perhaps a Women Friendly year could be organised with the help of
Honouring NGOs Breaking New Grounds.
On the International Women's Day 2001, the Commission had honoured
individual women who had broken new ground and gone into areas which
were hitherto considered the male bastion. In the year 2002, the
Commission proposes to felicitate voluntary organizations who have
done extraordinary work in new areas, on 8th March, 2002.
Women's Reservation Bill
33% reservation for women in Paliament has been hanging fire for
the last couple of years. The Commission proposes to continue to
campaign for this cause.
Sexual Harassment at Work Place
The Commission has been working on the subject even before the Vishaka
Judgement of the Supreme Court. presently, the NCW is in the process
of drafting a Bill on Sexual Harassment at Work Place, which would
be finalised and forwarded to the Government for placing before
The Commission plans to build upon existing networks and strengthen
ties with the 18 State Commissions for Women. A monthly exchange
of ideas and information is proposed, as also involvement in each
others' programmes and thrust areas. A beginning has been made in
a meeting held on 1st February, 2002.
A project for justice delivery for women by women at the grass root
level initially launched in Pondicherry is proposed to be implemented
in more regions. The effort has been launched to identify NGOs,
who can take up this challenge.
Preparing the Women for Tomorrow
A pilot project for empowering young college going girls was began
in the year 2000. The project has been expanded to govern working
women's hostels as well. It has been launched in, more colleges
in Delhi and outside Delhi successfully. It is ongoing in the Allahabad
University. Requests have been received from some other States.
It is proposed to continue expansion of this programme.
Ensuring mental Health for Women in Custodial Institutions.
The Commission would visit and inspect institutions where mentally
ill women are kept in custody.
HARASSMENT AT WORKPLACE
This publication has been brought out by the Commission not only
to generate awareness and to sensitise, but also as reference material
to provide support to the victims and to assist the persons required
to implement, be they employees, administrators, the police, the
judiciary or NGOs.
commission hopes this would be a useful guide and will be one
step forward in achieving our goal of having workplaces where
women can work with dignity and without fear.
sum and substance of the operational part of the Vishaka judgement
have been spelt out in the NCW's Code of Conduct for Work Place,
which is included in this publication. The detailed judgement
in the case of Vishaka v. State of Rajasthan (1997) and in the
case of Apparel Export Promotion Council v. A. K. Chopra (1999)
(where the Supreme Court has while reiterating the Vishaka pronouncement,
expressed even stronger views) are reproduced.
Impact of Maintenance Laws - with special reference to Kerela
The Role of Women Members in Panchayati Raj - Experience in West
Gender Component in various Commissions - Report by NLSU Bangalore
Women Prisoners in Indian Jails
Development of Health facilities among Scheduled Tribe Women
Report on National Debate on Codification of Criminal Laws pertaining
Justice Delivery through Family Courts
The Gender Issues and Books in India
Reaching Out - Proceedings of Conferences and Seminars July'96
The Velvet Blouse - Sexual Exploitation of Children
Knocking at the Male Bastion - Women in Politics
NCWs Rewiew of Laws - Amendments and New Bills
For Women to Lead - Ideas and Experiences from Asia
Report on Tribal Women and Employment
of Conduct on Sexual Harassment
Manual of Mental Health Care for women in custody
A Study of Mentally Disabled Women
Project Mangalam - Justice Delivery by Women for Women
Rape - A Legal Study
Voice of the Voiceless - Status of Muslim Women in India