Union minister of women and child development (WCD) Maneka Sanjay Gandhi on Wednesday called for open deliberations on the possibility of legalising gender determination tests of foetus, backed by strict tracking mechanism to check female foeticide.
She was reacting to a suggestion tabled by Maharashtra WCD minister Pankaja Munde at the concluding session of the two-day national thematic workshop on ‘Best practices for women and child development’ at the Indian Oil Corporation refinery auditorium here.
Munde had suggested that once gender of a foetus is determined, the authorities could maintain complete follow up in cases of female foetus in the womb.
“There is hardly any other country in the world where determination of gender of foetus is banned. If we in India, too, follow the same, it may help in ensuring that a girl child is born safely,” said the Maharashtra minister.
Meanwhile, the Union minister said that the suggestion needed to be seriously deliberated as the present enforcement against determination test had very limited results.
“Since it is the mandate of the health ministry, let’s see if it could be adopted,” she said.
On the occasion, Gandhi batted for more powers to the National Commission for Women (NCW) a proposal on which was pending with the Union cabinet.
“I firmly opine to empower NCW with judicial powers to enable it to summon and give punitive actions to the accused. It is seen that NCW’s directions sometimes are taken lightly by the police authorities, but a teethed NCW could be effective in curbing cases of crime against women,” the minister said.
Centre to honour 660 women
Union minister Maneka Sanjay Gandhi said that the central government will honour one woman each from the 660 districts of the country for their exemplary works for women on the International Women’s Day function on March 8. She also honoured winners of drawing and slogan writing competition organised this week in all schools of Haryana. A total 32 lakh students had participated in the statewide competition.