Recast women’s policy to include single women too: Maneka Gandhi

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WCD mnister Maneka Gandhi announcing the draft of National Policy for Women.   Photo: Shalini Bharadwaj
WCD mnister Maneka Gandhi announcing the draft of National Policy for Women. Photo: Shalini Bharadwaj

The Women and Child Development (WCD) ministry has recast its draft National Policy for Women and the same has been released by Union WCD minister Maneka Gandhi on 17 May.

This will enable the government to recognise single women—divorced , widowed and unmarried women—as independent entities. Also, the policy is likely to address concerns such as taboos surrounding single women.

According to the 2011 Census, single women represent 21 percent of India’s population or 73 million. As per WCD ministry, the population of single women has risen by 40 percent between 2001 and 2011.

Moreover, the policy will act as a road map while dealing with women’s issues in the next 15 to 20 years. They range from discrimination against women to expectations of the new emerging aspirational woman, added the statement.

Gandhi said, the draft will be put up on the WCD website and feedback in this regard has been invited from the general public. “We hope it will continue to guide government programmes for women ,” she added, in a webcast released by the WCD ministry.

Laying out its vision, the minister said the aim was to achieve “a society in which women are can take part as equal partners in all spheres of life.” Also the policy plans to set up one stop centres for women, launch women helpline services, set up Mahila Police Volunteers to enhance women’s safety.

Single women more often than not have to struggle in a bid to survive in the society, whether it is for renting a flat or providing their kids with the right education. This policy will be be a guide for the government in making policies for women.

In 2009, US had more single women than married ones. A senior WCD ministry official told the TOI that India was headed the US way in the next 10 years. It is important that the government recognises this.