Karnataka State Budget to rain goodies for women

The state government is likely to table a state policy on women that may suggest some far reaching changes to empower women.

Bengaluru: In the forthcoming budget session, the state government is likely to table a state policy on women that may suggest some far reaching changes to empower women, including quotas in the legislature and police. The draft policy, prepared by the Department of Women and Child Welfare, proposes that there should be quotas for women in high legislative assembly and council.

The draft policy also seeks to provide women equal access to and full participation in decision making bodies at every level, including the legislative, executive, judicial, corporate, statutory bodies, as also the advisory Commissions, Committees, Boards and Trusts etc.

The draft policy has been prepared after extensive discussions among gender experts, academicians and officials concerned. The consultations with non-official experts for evolving the policy is perhaps the first such exercise the government has undertaken in recent times. If the government accepts the draft policy recommendations, Karnataka will the first state to adopt gender budgeting as a fiscal tool to bring about empowerment of women.

In development process gender perspective will be introduced in the department level first by the process of Gender Budgeting which will later be taken up to the Gram Panchayat level. Each Panchayat will undertake their individual annual action plan which will accommodate gender budget and ensure achievement of Goal of this policy in planned phased manner,” the draft policy stated.

The policy also proposes mainstreaming of all laws affecting women and introducing new laws to meet needs not addressed so far. “Legal-judicial system will be made more responsive and gender sensitive to women’s needs, especially in cases of domestic violence and personal assault. New laws will be enacted wherever there is inadequacy of legal framework and existing laws reviewed and strengthened to ensure that justice is quick and the punishment meted out to the culprits is commensurate with the severity of the offence,” the draft policy states.

It wants greater presence of women in police force, lays down 33% reservation for women in Police during recruitment. Further, the draft suggests that there be at least one woman Director in the Boards of StatePSUs/Corporations/Boards. “It is desirable to provide job for women in private sector so as to reach at least 30% during recruitment and promotion,” the draft policy states.

“Efforts to be made to ensure that women are entitled to land rights and Government land titles should be either in joint names or in the name of women,” the draft policy states.

Furthermore, the draft policy suggests expansion of programmes for training women in soil conservation, social forestry, dairy development and other occupations allied to agriculture like horticulture, livestock including small animal husbandry, poultry, fisheries etc. to benefit women workers in the agriculture sector.

According to Durang Basu Mullick of Equations which is part of the working group involved in drafting of the policy, “The announcement of the draft policy is set to be done on March 8. The policy will then be put up on the public domain for a period of thirty days which will enable people to comment on the policy whether if or any changes are required.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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