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Social Justice

Expanding Scope of NCW

  • 01 Feb 2022
  • 7 min read

For Prelims: Legal Framework for Welfare of Women, Background & Mandate of National Commission for Women (NCW).

For Mains: Evolving needs of women in the country, Background & Mandate of National Commission for Women (NCW).

Why in News?

Recently, the 30th Foundation Day (31st January) of the National Commission for Women (NCW) was celebrated.

  • According to the Prime Minister, given the evolving needs of women in the country, the scope of NCW must be broadened.

What is the need to expand the scope of the NCW?

  • Development of New India:
    • The Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) campaign has shown the link between the ability of women with the development of the country.
      • This change is visible as about 70% beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana are women.
      • The country has seen a threefold increase in the number of women self-help groups in the last 6-7 years.
      • Similarly, in more than 60 thousand startups that have emerged after 2016, 45% have at least one woman director.
  • Old Thinking in Society:
    • Industries from textile to dairy have progressed due to women’s skills and power.
    • However, people with old thinking are of the view that the women’s roles are restricted to domestic work.
  • Increasing Crime Against Women:

What is the Background & Mandate of NCW?

  • Background:
    • The Committee on the Status of Women in India (CSWI) recommended nearly five decades ago, the setting up of a NCW to fulfil the surveillance functions to facilitate redressal of grievances and to accelerate the socio-economic development of women.
    • Successive Committees/Commissions/Plans including the National Perspective Plan for Women (1988-2000) recommended the constitution of an apex body for women.
    • Under the National Commission for Women Act, 1990, the NCW was set up as a statutory body in January 1992.
    • The First Commission was constituted on 31st January 1992 with Mrs. Jayanti Patnaik as the Chairperson.
      • The commission consists of a chairperson, a member secretary and five other members. The chairperson of the NCW is nominated by the Central Government.
  • Mandate and Functions:
    • Its mission is to strive towards enabling women to achieve equality and equal participation in all spheres of life by securing her due rights and entitlements through suitable policy formulation, legislative measures, etc.
    • Its functions are to:
    • It has received a large number of complaints and acted suo-moto in several cases to provide speedy justice.
    • It took up the issue of child marriage, sponsored legal awareness programmes, Parivarik Mahila Lok Adalats and reviewed laws such as:

What is the major Legal Framework for Welfare of Women?

Way Forward

  • Amending NCW Act: Women's role is continuously expanding in today’s India and the expansion of the role of the NCW is the need of the hour.
    • Further, the State Commissions must also widen their ambit.
  • Increasing Minimum Age for Marriage: The age of marriage of daughters is being attempted to be raised to 21 years so that marriage at an early age does not hinder the education and career of daughters.
  • Addressing Voilence Against Women: Violence against women continues to be an obstacle to achieving equality, development, peace as well as to the fulfillment of women and girls’ human rights.
  • Holistic Effort: Crime against women cannot be resolved in the court of law alone. A holistic approach & changing the entire ecosystem is what is required.
    • All the stakeholders need to get their act together, including Law makers, police officers, forensic dept, prosecutors, judiciary, medical & health dept, NGOs, rehabilitation centres.

Source: TH

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