The draft state womens policy that promises creches for children of working women,special public transport arrangement during night hours and 10 per cent reserved plots in industrial belts for women entrepreneurs among other welfare measures,has been awaiting government nod for more than five months.
The draft was open for public feedback till May 7 and was expected to get government approval after reviewing suggestions/objections made. The government,on July 12,2012,had formed a special panel to frame women policy to replace the 12-year-old redundant policy. The panel came out with the draft policy in March.
Setting up creches with help from local self-governing bodies at public places,markets,industrial and business areas large private and government offices is one of the key provisions. It also talks of modification in development plan of the cities as well as Slum Rehabilitation Authority schemes to accommodate opening of creches. Besides,it also assures compliance of government resolution dated October 10,2007,that asks for establishments having more than 500 women employees to set up creche over at least 20 sq m areas. The draft of state women policy also speaks of ensuring compliance in toto of Vishaka guidelines against sexual harassment of women at workplace. It also promises safety guidelines for women working during night shifts in offices.
The proposed policy also recommends a single-window system to facilitate all clearances. The draft policy proposes free health check-up for women every six months. Formation of special cell in police stations for women too is part of the draft policy. It also talks of safeguarding women against moral policing and legal action against elements or groups involved in such acts.
Archana More,trustee with advocacy forum Samyak Communication and Resource Centre,said the inordinate delay shows the casual attitude towards welfare of women.
The state commission for women is a headless body for almost four years. It shows how serious attitude government has towards welfare of women, she said.
Congress MLC Deepti Chaudhari,who was on two sub-committees that prepared draft women policy,said the process of adoption of policy was in final stages. We can expect formal announcement soon, she said.