Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel on Tuesday announced 33% reservation for women in the police force.
"It is necessary to empower women for their uplift in the society. My government has decided to provide 33% reservation to women in new recruitment in the police force.
It will be implemented in all cadres," Patel, the state's first woman chief minister, told reporters.
The path-breaking initiative comes at a time when crimes against women are on the rise in several states and are under media spotlight following alleged rape and murder of two minor girls in Badaun in Uttar Pradesh.
Patel made the announcement during an interaction with the media after attending a passing out parade at Gujarat Police Academy. "Women have served in every position in the police force. When a mother has prepared herself to serve the society, state and the country, we have to provide them special training and special space," she said.
"Gujarat will be the first state in India to implement 33% reservation for women in the police force," state's director general of police PC Thakur said.
"In Maharashtra, which doesn't have reservation for women, they account for 10% of the total strength of the police which is highest in country," Thakur said, adding women constitute hardly 4-5% of Gujarat's police force now.
The sanctioned posts in Gujarat Police are around 60,000, nearly 10,000 more than its present strength. There are around 2,500 policewomen in the state at present. If the government manages to fill all 33% posts for women against the sanctioned strength, the state would have around 19,800 women in the force.
Thakur said recruitment rules would have to be suitably changed following the announcement.