Women comprise only 7.28% of India’s police force, according to government data flagged by a report unveiled Thursday. The Model Policy on Women in Police in India, prepared by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), lays down a framework to guide government efforts at providing agency and power for women in India police.
The Home Ministry said in Parliament last year that in 2009, 2013 and 2014, it had issued advisories to all state governments to increase representation of women in police to 33%. For the Union Territories, the Cabinet had in 2015 approved 33% reservation for women in non-gazetted posts from constable to sub-inspector, the ministry said.
The CHRI report says that apart from the UTs, Bihar has adopted 38% reservation while nine states have adopted 33% (Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Nagaland, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Telangana). Ten states have set smaller targets while nine have not set a target at all. Targets remain very much on paper, the CHRI report says, citing data from the Bureau of Police Research and Development. These data show the total strength of women police at 1,40,814, as of January 1, 2017. Among the states, Tamil Nadu (15.97%) has the highest representation of women police while Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra and Goa are the only others with over 10%. Among the Union Territories, Chandigarh police have 18% women while Delhi police have 8.64%.
NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, who launched the report, cited more figures. “Less than 1% of policewomen in India occupy senior ranks. Over 90% of them remain constables — the lowest possible rank — which is the position they enter the force and eventually retire from,” CHRI quoted Kant as saying. CHRI International Director Sanjoy Hazarika called for empowerment for women in “what has fundamentally been a male bastion”.