National Commission of Women – UPSC GS1

NOTE: 30th Foundation Day (31st January) of the National Commission for Women (NCW) was celebrated.
Read basics about NCW from Prelims Notes.
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.
    • India’s economy relies on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and there is a need to promote women entrepreneurs in the country.
    • However, people with old thinking are of the view that the women’s roles are restricted to domestic work.
  • Increasing Crime Against Women:
    • In 2021, the NCW had informed that there was a rise of 46% in complaints of crimes against women in the first eight months of 2021 over the corresponding period of preceding year.
    • Crimes that women were subjected to: Domestic violence, Harassment of married women or dowry harassment, Sexual harassment at workplaceRape and attempt to rapeCyber crimes.
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 Violence Against Women: Violence against women continues to be an obstacle to achieving equality, development, peace as well as to the fulfilment of women and girls’ human rights.
  • All in all, the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – to leave no one behind – cannot be fulfilled without putting an end to violence against women and girls.
  • 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.

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