Women’s forums protest against new state policy in India

Over 25 women’s organizations from across Maharashtra came together on Wednesday to protest against the women’s policy that the state government is in the process of framing. The state government has decided to bring in a new policy to tackle problems related to gender disparity. The policy aims to take into consideration the problems related to the skewed sex ratio.

Women’s groups want the state women’s commission and the department of women and child welfare to formulate the policy.

“An independent department of women and child development was set up in the state in June 1993. This department has been the nodal agency for formulating the women’s policies. In spite of this, a government corporation, Mahila Arthik Vikas Mahamandal (MAVIM), with the limited mandate of implementing various women empowerment programmes through self-help groups has been entrusted with the task,” said Kiran Moghe, state president of Janwadi Mahila Sanghatana.

The groups also questioned the effectiveness of policies that had been framed earlier. “The state first adopted a comprehensive women’s policy in 1994 during chief minister Sharad Pawar’s tenure. After that, another one was framed in 1998 and then in 2001. How effective were these policies? Has the government reviewed the implemented of these policies? If yes, the review should be made available to the public,” said Sonya Gill of All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA).

“The policy is null and void if proper budgetary provisions are not made to ensure that it is implemented properly,” said Varsha Deshpande of the Dalit Mahila Vikas Mandal.


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