National commission for women

National commission for women

The National Commission for Women was set up as statutory body in January 1992 under the National Commission for Women Act, 1990 ( Act No. 20 of 1990 of Govt.of India ) to review the Constitutional and legal safeguards for women; recommend remedial legislative measures, facilitate redressal of grievances and advise the Government on all policy matters affecting women.

A Brief History

  • The Committee on the Status of Women in India ( CSWI ) recommended nearly two decades ago, the setting up of a National Commission for women to fulfill the surveillance functions to facilitate redressal of grievances and to accelerate the socio-economic development of women.
  • Successive Committees / Commissions / Plans including the National Perspective Plan for Women ( 1988-2000 ) recommended the constitution of an apex body for women
  • During 1990, the central government held consultations with NGOs, social workers and experts, regarding the structure, functions, powers etc.of the Commission proposed to be set up.
  • In May 1990, the Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha.
  • In July 1990, the HRD Ministry organized a National Level Conference to elicit suggestions regarding the Bill. In August 1990 the government moved several amendments and introduced new provisions to vest the commission with the power of a civil court.
  • The Bill was passed and received accent of the President on 30th August 1990.
  • The First Commission was constituted on 31st January 1992 with Mrs. Jayanti Patnaik as the Chairperson. The Second Commission was constituted on July 1995 with Dr. (Mrs.) Mohini Giri as the Chairperson. The Third Commission was constituted on January 1999 with Mrs. Vibha Parthasarathy as the Chairperson. The Fourth Commission was constituted on January 2002 and the government had nominated Dr. Poornima Advani as the Chairperson. The Fifth Commission has been constituted on February 2005 and the government has nominated Dr. Girija Vyas as the Chairperson.

The National Commission for Women was set up as statutory body in January 1992 under the National Commission for Women Act, 1990 ( Act No. 20 of 1990 of Govt.of India ) to :

  • Review the Constitutional and Legal safeguards for women
  • Recommend remedial legislative measures
  • Facilitate redressal of grievances and Advise the Government on all policy matters affecting women.

In keeping with its mandate, the Commission initiated various steps to improve the status of women and worked for their economic empowerment during the year under report. The Commission completed its visits to all the States/UTs except Lakshdweep and prepared Gender Profiles to assess the status of women and their empowerment. It received a large number of complaints and acted suo-moto in several cases to provide speedy justice. It took up the issue of child marriage, sponsored legal awareness programmes, Parivarik Mahila Lok Adalats and reviewed laws such as Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, PNDT Act 1994, Indian Penal Code 1860 and the National Commission for Women Act, 1990 to make them more stringent and effective. It organized workshops/consultations, constituted expert committees on economic empowerment of women, conducted workshops/seminars for gender awareness and took up publicity campaign against female foeticide, violence against women, etc. in order to generate awareness in the society against these social evils.

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