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At long last, MHA has a Women Safety Division

May 26, 2018

The Indian Government's interior ministry has created a new Division to comprehensively address the issues of women safety and deal with all aspects of women safety

 

To be called the women safety division, this division is slated to deal with all aspects of women safety in coordination with relevant ministries and departments of the government of the world's second-most populated governments. The department will also deal with matters corresponding to women's safety in the different state governments.

Besides crimes against women, childre, elderly and disadvantaged groups like dalits and tribal people, the new Division will deal with matters relating to Prison legislation and prison reforms, the national crime and criminal tracking and network system (CCTNS), and the National Crime Records Bureau. More importantly, the division will also be seized with the implementation of all programmes and schemes under the NIRBHAYA fund, a corpus fund of 10 billion (Indian rupees) announced by Government of India in 2013 to support initiatives by the government and NGOs working towards protecting the dignity and ensuring safety of women in India.

In order to address offences against women particularly rape in a holistic and time bound manner, the Women Safety Division is mandated to focus on enhancing the capacity of the existing administrative, investigative, prosecution and judicial machinery, along with appropriate measures for rehabilitation of victims and bringing attitudinal changes in society.

Civil society organisations airing the issue of safety of women in the country feel that this initiative has come a bit too late in day. These organisations await to hear more from the government -- especially since its announcement has come at the end of a week and the coming weekend (and the week ahead) will see the government claim what it has done to reduce crime against women as it embarks on the fifth year since it was voted into power in 2014.

A study released last fortnight by Bal Raksha Bharat, the Indian arm of the global Save the Children network has pointed to one in every third girl child expressing fear to venture into public spaces.

According to a press release of the Public Information Bureau of the Indian government, it was considered to create a National Mission for the safety of women, with participation of stakeholder Ministries and departments of the government, who would undertake specified actions in a time bound manner. These included setting up of Special Fast Track Courts (FTCs), strengthening of forensic set up and building up of National Registry of Sexual offenders, appointing additional Public Prosecutors, and providing appropriate medical and rehabilitation facilities to victims. Issues like sensitization of children through appropriate changes in school curriculum, a media campaign for raising awareness, checking proliferation of pornography materials and online contents etc. will also be addressed.

According to the Home Ministry, the National Mission for Safety of Women will give a credible response to emerging situation of crimes against women, especially minor girls and focus on time bound implementation of measures with tangible impact on women safety. The ministry also feels that it will lead to an improved coordination by Stakeholder Departments as also improved Monitoring at Mission level of the time bound prosecution and investigation in cases of rape and other matters related to women safety.
The government is expected to pat its back with its claim of approving a proposal for an ammendment of criminal laws relating to crime against women, besides a number of measures for effective implementation of criminal laws aimed at enhancing women safety, setting up of fast track special courts for crime against the girl child. Similarly, the government also approved more stringent laws, including the death sentence for those charged with rape of children and  This came after unrest across the country following the rape and murder of a young girl in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir.

To be called the women safety division, this division is slated to deal with all aspects of women safety in coordination with relevant ministries and departments of the government of the world's second-most populated governments. The deparment will also deal with matters corresponding to women's safety in the different state governments.

Besides crimes against women, children, elderly and disadvantaged groups like Dalits and tribal people, the new Division will deal with matters relating to Prison legislation and prison reforms, the national crime and criminal tracking and network system (CCTNS), and the National Crime Records Bureau. More importantly, the division will also be seized with the implementation of all programmes and schemes under the NIRBHAYA fund, a corpus fund of 10 billion (Indian rupees) announced by Government of India in 2013 to support initiatives by the government and NGOs working towards protecting the dignity and ensuring safety of women in India.

In order to address offences against women particularly rape in a holistic and time bound manner, the Women Safety Division is mandated to focus on enhancing the capacity of the existing administrative, investigative, prosecution and judicial machinery, along with appropriate measures for rehabilitation of victims and bringing attitudinal changes in society.

Civil society organisations airing the issue of safety of women in the country feel that this initiative has come a bit too late in day. These organisations await to hear more from the government -- especially since its announcement has come at the end of a week and the coming weekend (and the week ahead) will see the government claim what it has done to reduce crime against women as it embarks on the fifth year since it was voted into power in 2014.

A study released last fortnight by Bal Raksha Bharat, the Indian arm of the global Save the Children network has pointed to one in every third girl child expressing fear to venture into public spaces.

According to a press release of the Public Information Bureau of the Indian government, it was considered to create a National Mission for the safety of women, with participation of stakeholder Ministries and departments of the government, who would undertake specified actions in a time bound manner. These included setting up of Special Fast Track Courts (FTCs), strengthening of forensic set up and building up of National Registry of Sexual offenders, appointing additional Public Prosecutors, and providing appropriate medical and rehabilitation facilities to victims. Issues like sensitization of children through appropriate changes in school curriculum, a media campaign for raising awareness, checking proliferation of pornography materials and online contents etc. will also be addressed.

According to the Home Ministry, the National Mission for Safety of Women will give a credible response to emerging situation of crimes against women, especially minor girls and focus on time bound implementation of measures with tangible impact on women safety. The ministry also feels that it will lead to an improved coordination by Stakeholder Departments as also improved Monitoring at Mission level of the time bound prosecution and investigation in cases of rape and other matters related to women safety.

The government is expected to pat its back with its claim of approving a proposal for an ammendment of criminal laws relating to crime against women, besides a number of measures for effective implementation of criminal laws aimed at enhancing women safety, setting up of fast track special courts for crime against the girl child. Similarly, the government also approved more stringent laws, including the death sentence for those charged with rape of children and  This came after unrest across the country following the rape and murder of a young girl in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir.

 

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