| Gender Jehad: Formulation and Implementation of State Women Policy
The status of women in India has been subjected to many great changes over the past few millennia. From a largely unknown status in ancient times through the low points or medieval period to the promotion of equal rights by many reformers, the history of women in India has been eventful. Contrary to the common perception, a large percent of women in India don't enjoy the equal rights due to the low status of women, patriarchal society, feudal customs and high values. Girls are known to carry a greater burden of illiteracy, poor health, oppression, social discrimination, poverty and powerlessness.
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In an increasing interconnected world, progress in the areas of development, security, human rights of men and women must go hand in hand. There will be no development without safeguarding women's rights. The security of traditional and social systems provided to women moving out of their homes for education and employment is being regarded as insufficient which needs to be strengthened.
After a thorough study and research on the life of women of U.P. many women's organizations along with us (Sakhi Kendra) came forward to work on the State Women Policy of U.P. After innumerable days and nights of hard labour a policy had been formulated and submitted to the government. After 10 years of much lobbying and advocacy with the government the Bill of State Women Policy was passed in 2006. But the journey did not end there. Though the bill was passed, no step was taken by the government for its implementation. A one year State level campaign had been conducted. As a result, a committee was formed by the commissioner of Social Welfare Board.
Still we are trying for the proper implementation of State Women Policy. In the month of April'09 we conducted a State level workshop at Lucknow in which around 80 eminent women delegates from all over U.P. had participated to discuss on proper implementation of the policy. A conclusion had been drawn to make two committees; i.e. a Watch Dog Committee and a Monitoring Committee
Both these committees will be established to watch and monitor the steps taken by the government towards implementing the policy properly. During the workshop all women delegates were motivated to lobby with the local, district and State government and to pressurize them to work towards the proper implementation of the policy.
Hence, we would like to request you all to work towards formulating the State Women Policy for your State, if it is not been made. If it is already there then you have the right and liberty to review the policy and ask for amendments. And then the journey of proper implementation of the policy will start. (Policies of some States are available on the net).
We have already given the memorandum to the Prime Minister to give directives to the State governments to formulate, pass and implement the policy( copy attached herewith). Memorandum has also been given to the Minister of Women and Child Development, National Commission of Women, and Chief Ministers of all the states.
Wish you all the best and happy policy making.
Sakhi Kendra, Kanpur, U.P.
The Prime Minister,
- In an increasing interconnected world, progress in the areas of development, security, human rights of men and women must go hand in hand. There will be no development without safeguarding women's rights.
- Though the constitution of India guarantees equality of all citizens before the law, still women carry the burden of subordination. Girls are always treated as other's property. The domestic responsibilities are always thrown upon them. As a result girls have to face the burden of poor health, illiteracy, poverty, social discrimination etc.
- After a thorough study and research on the life of women of Uttar Pradesh, We ( Sakhi Kendra) with the support of many other women's organizations formulated the State Women Policy of Uttar Pradesh which was passed in 2006. After much lobbying and advocacy with the government and a State level campaign a committee has been formed due to the sincere efforts of the Commissioner of Social Welfare Board. After that when we went to the department and ministries we found that no one is aware of the presence of such policy. Then our efforts seemed to be gone in vain. Our struggle is still continuing for its proper and speedy implementation. After conducting a state level workshop we came to know that the situation is similar in every state.
- Now we have started an e-mail campaign to motivate the women's organizations nationwide to work towards formulating the State Women Policy where it is not there and to review the policy, if it is there then work for its better implementation by pressurizing the government at the local, district and State level.
- Therefore, we would like to request you to give the directives to all State governments and nodal departments to formulate, pass and implement the State Women Policy in their States. We also request you to form a national monitoring committee to monitor the steps taken by the State Governments.
- We have high hopes from this government that it will do something beneficial and concrete for the women of India.
Sakhi Kendra, Kanpur, U.P.
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