Draft of ‘National Policy for Women’ is ready; Seeks free education and health cards
 Source : News Bharati English  Date : 12-Jul-2017

New Delhi, July 12: A Group of Ministers (GoM), headed by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, approved a draft national policy for women proposing free education for girls from poor families and a health card for all women.

"The group of ministers has approved the policy. Some changes were made in light of the deliberations over four meetings between March and June. In its fifth meeting today, the GoM adopted the policy document," GoM spokesperson said.

The draft National Policy for Women, 2017, also moots that a woman accused of a non-heinous crime, who has remained an under-trial for one-third of her jail time, should be given bail. The policy document will now be sent to the Cabinet for its nod.

The policy envisions a society in which, women attain their full potential and are able to participate as equal partners in all spheres of life.  It also emphasises the role of an effective framework to enable the process of developing policies, programmes and practices which will ensure equal rights and opportunities for women.

The GoM comprises ministers from 11 ministries, including external affairs, women and child development, finance, agriculture, social justice, human resource development and law. The latest draft is a revised version of a document released in May last year.

Priority Areas of National Policy for Women:

  • Health including food security and nutrition: Focus on recognizing women’s reproductive rights, shift of family planning focus also to males, addressing health issues in a life cycle continuum  such as psychological and general well-being,  health care challenges related to nutrition/ hygiene  of adolescents, geriatric health care, expansion of health insurance schemes and addressing the intergenerational cycle of under-nutrition.
  • Education: Improve access to pre-primary education, enrolment and retention of adolescent girls, implement innovative transportation models for better schooling outcomes, advocate gender champions and address disparities with regard to ICTs.
  • Economy: Raising visibility, engendering macro-economic policies and trade agreements, generate gender-disaggregated land ownership database, skill  development and training for women, entrepreneurial development, review of labour laws and policies, equal employment opportunities with appropriate benefits related to maternity and child care services, address technological needs of women.
  • Governance and Decision Making: Increasing women’s participation in the political arena, administration, civil services and corporate boardrooms,
  • Violence Against Women:  Address all forms of violence against women through a life cycle approach, Legislations affecting /relating to women will be reviewed/harmonized to enhance effectiveness, Improve Child Sex Ratio (CSR), strict implementation of advisories, guidelines, Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) and protocols, prevention of trafficking at source, transit and destination areas for effective monitoring of the networks.
  • Enabling Environment: Gender perspective in housing and infrastructure, ensuring safe drinking water and sanitation, gender parity in the mass media & sports, concerted efforts towards strengthening social security and support services for all women especially the vulnerable, marginalized, migrant and single women.
  • Environment and Climate Change:  addressing gender concerns during distress migration and displacement in times of natural calamities due to climate change and environmental degradation. Promotion of environmental friendly, renewable, non–conventional energy, green energy sources for women in rural households.