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Gender Justice: Requirement of Policing, For Policing

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    2nd Mar, 2022

Context

Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs has recently made an observation that the representation of women in India’s police force is abysmally low.

Analysis

What has the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs observed?

  • The Committee has observed that the representation of women in India’s police forces is at 10.3%.
  • This, the committee said, is way low than the target of 33% women in police force set by the Government of India in 2009.

How do the different states fair on employing women in their police forces?

  • States with lower socio-economic indicators have better representation of women (percentage wise) in their police force.
Bihar, for example, has the highest representation of women in the police force at 25%. Himachal Pradesh comes second with 19%.
  • It is also important to note that all southern states, which have better social indicators and are considered to be economically advanced, have a representation lower than the national average, except for Tamil Nadu where it is 18%.

What has the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs observed?

  • The Committee has observed that the representation of women in India’s police forces is at 10.3%.
  • This, the committee said, is way low than the target of 33% women in police force set by the Government of India in 2009.

How do the different states fair on employing women in their police forces?

  • States with lower socio-economic indicators have better representation of women (percentage wise) in their police force.

Bihar, for example, has the highest representation of women in the police force at 25%. Himachal Pradesh comes second with 19%.

  • It is also important to note that all southern states, which have better social indicators and are considered to be economically advanced, have a representation lower than the national average, except for Tamil Nadu where it is 18%.

Statistics of women in Central Police Forces:

  • Reality of representation of women in Central Police Forces is worse than what it is in the state police forces.
  • The number of women employed in the central armed police force, widely known as the paramilitary force, is 29,249, accounting for just 2.98% of the total number of 9,82,391 personnel.

What are the reasons for low representation of women in police forces?

  • Structural and attitudinal issues work against the entry of women in police force.
  • Policing is still considered to be a male job that demands physical strength for which women are considered to be unfit.
  • Many a times the logistics in the police department do not support the inclusion of women in the force. Prime example of this is limited number of police stations in India having separate toilets for women personnel.

Why are more women need in police force?

  • Data by report United Nations Women, titled Progress of the World’s Women: In Pursuit of Justice, categorically shows that there is positive correlation between presence of women in police force and reporting of sexual assault.
  • More women in police force therefore is an important development towards gender justice.
  • According to the Status of Policing 2019 report. Policewomen are less likely to have allegations of excessive force against them, and their presence can reduce the use of force by other police officers.
  • Studies have consistently found that women possess a number of traits that make them trusted partners to their communities, ultimately helping to improve police-community relations.
  • Beyond a gender dichotomy, research shows that diverse workforces are more effective, creative and resilient than homogenous workforces, and that teams with broad perspectives are better at making decisions and solving problems.
  • Hence including more women to the police force and giving the force more diversity would be an intelligent step.
  • It is also important to understand that all institutions like the government and its agencies, occupations like the police and public spaces like classrooms in a democratic society should be inclusive and representative of the society.

  • Entry of women in police force should also be encouraged because this job will not only financially empower but also socially uplift them.

Recommendations of Parliamentary Committee for increasing the number of women in police forces:

  • Setting up at least one all-woman police station in one district,
  • Appointing at least three women sub-inspectors and10 women constables in one station
  • Recruitment of women for additional posts rather to fill existing posts and assignment of important duties to women police personnel. 
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