Min­istries to look at poli­cies through pink lens: Maneka

The Indian Express - - GOVT &P - SHALINI NAIR


THE DRAFT Na­tional Pol­icy for Women, 2017, that is be­ing ex­am­ined by a Group of Min­is­ters, headed by Sushma Swaraj, would look at poli­cies across all min­istries “through a pink lens”, Women & Child Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Maneka Gandhi said.

Speak­ing to The In­dian Ex­press on Thurs­day, Maneka said the re­vi­sion of the ex­ist­ing 16-year-old Na­tional Pol­icy for Women would in­volve look­ing at new and emerg­ing prob­lems faced by women.

“Things have changed a lot since 2001. Women are head­ing move­ments and de­mand­ing change, be it on the is­sue of triple ta­laqor­fe­male­gen­i­tal­mu­ti­la­tion. This has never hap­pened be­fore. Hence, in ad­di­tion to be­ing wel­fare-based, we need a rights­based ap­proach. Also, we need to deal with newer forms of vi­o­lence, in­clud­ing cy­berspace, the high­er­in­ci­dence­of­sex­u­al­ha­rass­ment be­cause of greater par­tic­i­pa­tionof­wom­eninthe­work­force or the is­sues fac­ing sin­gle women due to the in­creased break­down of mar­riages,” she said.

The Na­tional Pol­icy for Women, 2017, af­ter it is fine­tuned by the GOM next week, would be sent to the Cabi­net for ap­proval. Maneka said, “We would like ev­ery­one to look at their poli­cies through a pink lens.”

As an ex­am­ple, she pointed out how an at­tempt can be made to sub­vert es­tab­lished gen­der roles by get­ting the HRD min­istry to in­clude such teach­ings in school cur­ric­ula.

“The­p­ol­i­cy­will­out­linethatall min­istries should main­tain sex dis­ag­gre­gated­data,on­ev­ery­thing from­mgn­re­ga­job­gen­er­a­tionto screen­ing of can­cer pa­tients,” she said, adding that the same would be col­lated by the Min­istry of Statis­tics and Pro­gramme Im­ple­men­ta­tion­sothatit­be­come­seasier to gauge whether poli­cies fac­tor in women and have the de­sired im­pact on them.

Pub­lic feed­back which the GOM had sought could also be in­cluded in the pol­icy.

A few of these will be in­cor­po­rated by the Women & Child Devel­op­ment Min­istry. “Some of the sug­ges­tions from the pub­lic in­clude de­mand for cheaper men­strual hy­giene prod­ucts, self-de­fence classes for girls in schools, lower fees for chil­dren of wi­d­ows and health cards to en­sure com­pul­sory breast or uter­ine screen­ing,” Maneka said.

The pro­posed Na­tional Pol­icy For Women, 2017, also talks about how “given the plu­ral­ity of per­sonal laws, a re­view is re­quired... in­ac­cor­dance­with­con­sti­tu­tional pro­vi­sions.”

About an all-male five-judge Con­sti­tu­tion bench of the Supreme Court, each of a dif­fer­ent re­li­gion,hear­ing­th­etriple­ta­laq­case, Maneka said the gen­der of the judge should have no bear­ing on the case. “This is not un­usual. Women’s is­sues come up all the time be­fore all-male pan­els. In ev­ery sin­gle case, the judge is not ex­pected to re­mem­ber whether he/sheis­ma­le­or­fe­male.iamsure they will de­cide for the rights of women,notwith­stand­ingth­eir­re­li­gion. We need to move to­wards the light on this is­sue and the Supreme Court is a very im­por­tantin­stru­ment­for­this,”she­said.

‘Pol­icy will out­line that all min­istries should main­tain sex dis­ag­gre­gated data’

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