U’khand formulates policy to empower women
“Empowering women educationally as well as economically is the basic objective of the policy that we have conceptualised for their welfare,” says Ramindri Mundrawal, secretary, state women’s commission—the panel which is facilitating the formulation of the dedicated strategy for women welfare.dehradun Updated: Oct 06, 2017 20:57 IST
DEHRADUN: Ensuring women land and property ownership rights and providing them legal protection against domestic violence and sexual harassment are some of the salient features of a dedicated policy for women soon to be formulated by the Uttarakhand government.
“Empowering women educationally as well as economically is the basic objective of the policy that we have conceptualised for their welfare,” says Ramindri Mundrawal, secretary, state women’s commission—the panel which is facilitating the formulation of the dedicated strategy for women welfare.
It will be the first such policy meant for the welfare of women since the state came into being in 2000. The process though began a bit too late considering that women were not only on the forefront of the statehood movement but are also the backbone of Uttarakhand’s agri-pastoral economy.
Mundrawal says it will be wrong to assume that the previous governments had no strategies. “There were policies in place for welfare of women in the past as well but they were prepared in bits and pieces. A dedicated policy being conceptualised now, will be a holistic strategy aimed at empowering women in every sense.”
The proposed strategy will be an attempt to provide solutions to a host of issues facing women who “are otherwise the economic backbone” of the state’s agri-pastoral economy. “These issues include women not having rights in property or land, or, legal protection against domestic violence or sexual harassment besides near absence of proper health and educational facilities for them.”
Elaborating, Mundrawal says the strategy will ensure legal rights for women both for agricultural land and other property. “Under the new policy, women will be recognised as agriculturists…That means they will enjoy equal ownership rights with their brothers or husbands in farmlands and other assets like houses,” she says, adding the proposed move will be the first such step towards ensuring economic empowerment for women in rural areas.
“Besides, the proposed policy will ensure women, especially in rural areas, half of the income that activities like farming or dairy farming fetch their families.”
Under the proposed policy, it will be mandatory for all the panchayat institutions to ensure that pregnant women in remote hill areas are carried to the road heads in palanquins before being shifted to nearby hospitals for delivery.
Besides, the policy will ensure women legal protection against domestic violence and sexual harassment. “Such a provision will apply to women living both in rural and urban areas.” In rural areas, committees of office bearers of village and ‘nyay’ panchayats will ensure that women get their legal dues.
“It’ll contain special provisions under which rural women will be legally entitled to financial assistance so that they can take up activities like floriculture or bee keeping to enhance income.”
It will be mandatory for the departments concerned to encourage rural women to have nutritious food items prepared from local crops. “The step aims to help hill women overcome the common health problems such as anaemia.” Women hostels will be built in urban areas so that girls coming from remote hill areas for studies have safe and cheap accommodations accessible to them.