Pushing for more women in police forces, the Union ministry of home affairs has advised the Haryana Police to introduce ‘gender budgeting’ in allocation of police funds to provide ample facilities and equipment for women police personnel in the state.
The suggestion for gender budgeting in planning to earmark funds for women police personnel from the overall budget was made by the MHA in a letter to the state police two months ago, according to a ministry official.
The official said the home ministry had first taken up the issue with the state police in a meeting chaired by additional secretary, home, BK Prasad in August 2014 to discuss the state action plan under the Scheme for Modernisation of State Police Forces.
Besides gender budgeting, the state authorities were also asked to provide facilities such as toilets, restrooms and common rooms for women police personnel in all the existing and proposed police stations and administrative buildings in the state, according to minutes of the meeting sent by the home ministry to Haryana DGP last September.
The home ministry, which woke up to the issue after a parliamentary committee last year pointed out deficiencies in basic facilities for women police personnel, had issued detailed guidelines on building designs to all the states in this regard.
However, a top state police officer said that while he was not aware of such directions, there were several ongoing works and proposals to provide better facilities to women personnel in the state. The parliamentary committee on empowerment of women, in its report on the ‘Working Conditions of Women in Police Force’, had expressed dismay over the inadequacy/non-availability of basic amenities such as toilets and restrooms for women at their place of posting in states across the country.
Besides strongly recommending immediate remedial measures, the panel had also frowned on the central government for failing to ensure 33% representation of women in the police force. While the Centre has been advocating increase in the number of women police personnel, they constitute less than 6% of the actual strength of the state police forces in the country.
Haryana, which has received roughly `100 crore from the centre in the past five years under the police modernisation scheme is a tad better than the national average, with women police personnel constituting 7.5%. Maharashtra (15%) and Tamil Nadu (11%) are the states with highest representation of women in police force while Chandigarh (13.5%) tops among union territories.
Last week, Gurgaon-based RTI activist Harinder Dhingra had also submitted a complaint to the State Human Rights Commission about non-availability of separate toilets for women police personnel in nine police stations of the Gurgaon commissionerate.