National Policy for Women, 2001 and Draft National Policy for Women 2016 along with Constitutional and Statutory Provisions and Condition of Women in India

March 10, 2018


  1. Constitutional Provisions regarding Women:

    1. The principle of gender equality is enshrined in Preamble, Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties and Directive Principles. - [ Article 14, 15(1), 15(3), 16, 39(a), 39(d), 39A, 42, 46, 47, 51A(e), 243D(3), 243D(4), 243T(3), 243T(4)]

    2. Constitution empowers the states to adopt measures of positive discrimination in favour of women. [Article 15(3)] 

    3. 73rd and 74th amendment (1993) to the Constitution of India have provided for reservation of seats in the local bodies of Panchayats and Municipalities for Women, laying a strong foundation for their participation in decision making at the local levels.

  2. Statutory Provisions regarding Women.

    1. National Commission for Women was set up through an act of Parliament in 1990.

    2. Special Provisions in Indian Penal Code [ Section 376; 363-373; 302; 304-B; 498A; 354; 509]

    3. Provisions in multiple acts like Employee State Insurance Act, 1948 ; Plantation Labour Act, 1951; The Special Marriages Act, 1954 ; Hindu Marriage Act, 1955; Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986 etc.

  3. International Conventions for Women to which India is a party:

    1. Mexico Plan of Action (1975)

    2. Nairobi Forward Looking Strategies (1985)

    3. Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), 1993.

    4. Beijing Declaration as well as the Platform for Action (1995).

    5. Outcome Document adopted by the UNGA Session on Gender Equality and Development & Peace for the 21st century, titled "Further actions and initiatives to implement the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action" (Beijing + 5 ) (2000).

  4. Reports showing Adverse Condition of Women in India:

    1. Unfavorable sex ratio of India. (940 as per Census 2011).

    2. Social Stereotyping and Violence  at the domestic and societal levels.

    3. Discrimination against Girl Child, Adolescent Girls and Women persists in parts of the Country.

    4. 108 Rank in Global Gender Gap Index out of 144 countries.

    5. 27.1% loss in Human Development Index due to Gender Inequalities as per Inequality Adjusted HDI report of UNDP.

    6. 131 Rank in Gender Inequality Index in 2015.

  5. National Policy for Women, 2001:

    1. Goals:

      • Creating an environment through positive economic and social policies for full development of women to enable them to realize their full potential.

      • The de-jure and de-facto enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedom by women on equal basis with men in all spheres – political, economic, social, cultural and civil.

      • Equal access to participation and decision making of women in social, political and economic life of the nation

      • Equal access to women to health care, quality education at all levels, career and vocational guidance, employment, equal remuneration, occupational health and safety, social security and public office etc.

      • Strengthening legal systems aimed at elimination of all forms of discrimination against women

      • Changing societal attitudes and community practices by active participation and involvement of both men and women.

      • Mainstreaming a gender perspective in the development process.

      • Elimination of discrimination and all forms of violence against women and the girl child; and

      • Building and strengthening partnerships with civil society, particularly women’s organisations.


    2. Priority Areas as per the National Policy for Women:

 Draft National Policy for Women, 2016, "Articulating a Vision for Empowerment of Women" Priority Areas:

  1. Health including food security and nutrition,

  2. Education,

  3. Economy (including agriculture, industry, labour, employment, NRI women, soft power, service sector, science and technology), Violence against women,

  4. Governance and decision making

  5. Violence Against Women

  6. Enabling environment (including housing, shelter and infrastructure, drinking water and sanitation, media and culture, sports and social security)

  7. Environment and climate change.


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