National Commission Of Women Right
It is stated that learning as much as you can about women will help you understand society, a civilization, and a culture. In India, women have come a long way from the few female scholars and sages of the Vedic era to the women who are active in a variety of fields today, including the armed forces, the arts, information technology, politics, and other fields that have historically been dominated by men, all the while juggling the responsibilities of being a wife, mother, and daughter.
Although Indian women have made significant progress in their battles against patriarchal society, rape, dowry killings, female infanticide, sexual harassment at the workplace, female illiteracy, and other issues which still plague Indian society. The National Commission for Women was established by the Committee on the Status of Women in India (CSWI) in order to carry out the oversight duties, to make it easier for concerns to be resolved, and to hasten the socioeconomic growth of women.
The Indian Constitution explicitly states that gender equality is a fundamental value. The Preamble, the Fundamental Rights entrenched in Part III of the Indian Constitution, and the Directive Principles enshrined in Part IV of the Constitution all advocate equality of position and opportunity. In addition to guaranteeing women's equality, the Constitution has specific obligations to uphold equality. Thus, in January 1992, the National Commission for Women (NCW) was established as a statutory body under the National Commission for Women Act, 1990 (Act No. 20 of 1990 of the Government of India) to carry out the mandate set by the Act as well as CSWI, in accordance with the recommendations of the CSWI and in order to uphold the mandate of the Constitution.
Importance of The Commission:
The purpose of this article is to educate the reader on the need for a commission like the National Commission for Women and the driving force behind its founding in 1992. The relationship between the constitution and the commission, its mandate, and the fundamental administrative structure of the commission in accordance with the constitution are all further examined in this article.
The Commission is important since women as a class are neither considered a minority group nor a lower class. Because India has historically been a patriarchal society, women have always had societal disadvantages and limitations. As a result, it became necessary to implement some corrective measures in order to better the situation of women in the historically male-dominated culture. There are no provisions in the Constitution that favor women in particular. Although Article 15 (3), Article 21, and Article 14 are favorable to women, they are more general in character and call for the adoption of any particular provisions for women, rather than being such provisions in and of themselves.
The Supreme Court has attempted to give women some additional protections through interpretative procedures. The courts have attempted to improve the social circumstances of Indian women through rulings in cases like Bodhisattwa Gautam v. Subra Chakraborty (AIR 1996 SC 922) and Chairman Rly Board v. Chandrima Das (AIR 2000 SC 988), where rape was declared a heinous crime, as well as the seminal decision in Visakha v. State of Rajasthan (AIR 1997 SC 3011). However, these scarcely go far enough to help women's status in India. As a result, the Committee on the Status of Woman (India) and a number of NGOs, social workers, and specialists who were engaged by the Government in 1990 suggested creating an apex body for women in light of these circumstances.
The National Commission for Women was established due to a lack of constitutional mechanisms, judicial skill, and social interest. Women in India, though in a better position than their ancestors, were clearly handicapped in the early 1990s, as evidenced by the aforementioned conditions and issues. As a result of these disadvantages and injustices against Indian women, the Indian Government established the first National Commission for Women in 1992. (Aug. 4, 2007).
National Commission For Women:
• The National Commission for Women was established as a ‘’Statutory’’ entity by the National Commission for Women Act, 1990 (Govt. of India Act No. 20 of 1990). On January 31, 1992, the first commission was established, with Mrs. Jayanti Patnaik serving as chair.
• The creation of the commission is outlined in Section 3 of the Act of 1990. According to this section, the commission must have a ‘chairperson’ who is dedicated to the advancement of women, ‘five members’ from diverse backgrounds, and a ‘member secretary’ who is knowledgeable about management, organizational structure, sociological movements, or who is a member of the Union's civil service. The Central Government appoints every member of the panel.
• Each person serves in office for five years or until he becomes 70, whichever comes first. At least one member of the Commission must be a member of a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe, The Commission has the authority to form committees with members from outside the Commission in addition to the aforementioned members.
The National Commission for Women has a fourteen-point mandate, as outlined in Section 10(1) of the Act of 1990. There has been a general summary of the mandate and a discussion of a few key provisions.
The Commission's general mandate can be broken down into four sections
(a) Defending the rights of women guaranteed by the constitution and laws
(b) Researching contemporary issues affecting women and offering solutions
(c) Periodically assessing the status of Indian women
(d) Supporting and prosecuting cases involving violations of women's rights
Women's rights are protected under sub clauses (a) through (e) of Section 10(1) of the Act. They anticipate that the Commission will look into the legal and constitutional protections for women. The Commission is required to provide reports on these protections and offer suggestions for their implementation. The Commission is also required to assess these protections on a regular basis in order to find any gaps or weaknesses and fix them. The Commission has the authority to take on complaints regarding rules violations.
Also, researching the issues that women encounter; these are primarily covered in subclasses (g) through I of Section 10(1) of the Act. These sub clauses mandate that the Commission conduct studies on the issues related to discrimination against women and offer solutions to these issues. In accordance with this portion of its mandate, the Commission is also required to provide the government with recommendations for the socioeconomic development of women based on these research.
Assessing the position of Indian women - These responsibilities of the Commission are covered in sub clauses (j) through (n) of the aforementioned provision of the Act. According to these regulations, the Commission is responsible for assessing the status of Indian women under the control of the Union Government and State Governments. In order to improve the state of detention homes and other facilities where women may be held, it is necessary to inspect, assess, and work with the relevant authorities. Periodic reports and recommendations need to be given to the government with these evaluations.
Combating instances involving violations of women's rights: Specific provisions in the mandate also provide the Commission the authority to take on cases involving discrimination against women, violations of women's rights, and funding of cases involving the rights of numerous women. The Commission is given the authority to take suo moto notice of matters relating to the deprivation of a woman's rights, the non-implementation of laws passed to protect women, and the non-compliance with policies and guidelines intended to lessen the hardships of women. In such matters, the Commission is empowered to contact the proper authorities and seek remedies.
The Commission's Duties:
Given the complexity of violence and discrimination against women, the Commission has chosen a multi-pronged approach to solving the issue. The counselling, legal, and research duties of the Commission are roughly categorized into three in this plan.
1. Complaint and Counseling Cell:
The Complaint and Counseling Cell is the central division of the Commission and is responsible for processing all complaints made pursuant to Section 10 of the NCW Act, whether they be oral, written, or suo moto. Domestic violence, harassment, dowry, torture, desertion, bigamy, rape, failure to file a police report, cruelty by the husband, derivation, gender discrimination, and sexual harassment in the workplace are among the accusations that were received. The Commission received 4329 complaints in 1999 on the categories of crimes against women mentioned above.
To address the aforementioned issues, this cell uses a three-pronged approach:
(a) Police investigations are accelerated and closely supervised.
(b) When a severe crime occurs, the Commission appoints an inquiry committee that conducts on-the-spot investigations, interviews witnesses, gathers evidence, and presents a final report with recommendations. These inquiries aid in providing victims of violence and atrocities with prompt relief and justice. The NCW keeps an eye on how the report is being implemented. A clause allows for the inclusion of specialists and attorneys on these committees.
Over the course of fourteen years, a number of these inquiry panels have been established to address very grave issues. Committees were formed to look into allegations of police mistreatment of female Kurukshetra University students, rape of a 30-year-old lady in Safdarjung Hospital, gang rape of a 15-year-old girl in Lucknow, and other horrible crimes against women.
From a total of 4293 complaints in 1999–2000 to a total of 5462 complaints in 2003–2004, this cell has seen an increase in the number of complaints filed. This growth could be seen as a sign of success for this division of the Commission and a good thing. It also shows how much more women are coming to trust the Commission as a whole.
(c) Family disputes are resolved or compromised through counseling.
2. Legal duties:
a significant portion of the Commission's mandate relates to legal studies for women's rights protections, legal interventions, bill suggestions, and other similar issues involving India's legal system. To handle these tasks, the Commission's legal cell was established. Three categories can be used to group the operations of this cell: (a) suggested legal adjustments; (b) proposed new laws and bills; and (c) proposed court interventions.
(a) Legal Amendments:
As part of its mandate, the Commission is required to periodically review and amend current laws. The Commission has so far put forth sixteen amendments. In order to prevent the sale of minor girls, the commission has sought to amend the Indian Penal Code of 1860, the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955, the Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961, the NCW Act of 1990, and the Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961. It has also sought to amend the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 to remove epilepsy from the list of grounds for divorce. In addition to these, the Commission has sought to change a number of additional Acts and Bills, but the researcher is unable to cover them here owing to a lack of space.
(b) News bills proposed:
A total of seven laws and one convention regarding trafficking of women and children have been introduced by the Commission over the course of fourteen years. The Domestic Violence to Women (Prevention) Bill, 1994, the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 1994 (which addressed child rape), and the Criminal Laws (Amendment) Ordinance, 1996 were among the bills the Commission presented. 2005 saw the passage of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Bill.
(c) Court Intervention: To assist women whose rights have been violated, the Commission has interfered in several court cases. The researcher will only be able to name a handful of the more notable ones. The Commission supported the victim and provided for her safety after getting involved in the Bhateri gang rape case. In the Maimon Baskari's Nuh case, the Commission fought against antiquated traditions and for the victim's freedom to marry a partner of her choosing.
The Commission intervened in the case of Fakhruddin Mubarak Shaik v. Jaitunbi Mubarak Shaik to demand maintenance for Muslim women after the iddat period had passed. The actions done in the rape cases involving Imrana and Marine Drive were also partially the fault of the Commission.
The Commission's research cell is the part of the organization that examines the new issues facing Indian women as a result of discrimination and gender bias. Additionally, this unit is in charge of informing women about their rights through a range of conferences, seminars, workshops, and public hearings. This unit has also set up expert panels and arranged a number of special studies to investigate and recommend solutions for problems that have lately arisen. The cell is now addressing problems with prostitution, gender and law enforcement, the effects of women being displaced, sexual harassment at work, and political empowerment of women.
The three aforementioned Commission organs have done a good job of carrying out the Act of 1990's mandate for the Commission. Because it is the cell of the Commission that has the closest relationship with the public, out of the three, the counselling cell may have had the greatest success. Although similarly successful, the other cells focus more on the various government departments and are hence not as well-known.
Results Achieved By The Commission:
A concise summary of the accomplishments, high points, and victories of the Commission since its founding in 1992 can be found in the chapter that follows.
Perhaps the most effective part of the organization is the Commission's complaints and counselling cell, for instance:
Due to the Commission's intervention, Ms. Rupali Jain's teaching position was restored after it had been terminated at a school run by a non-governmental organization without good cause. In a another case, Smt. Savitri complained to the Commission about the exploitation of her deaf and dumb daughter, who had allegedly been abandoned by her husband and in-laws along with her infant because of her disability. The husband was located, given counselling, and is currently agreeing to undergo rehabilitation with his wife and daughter after the Commission took up the case.
Additionally, the Commission was successful in getting Mrs. Sudha Bala (name changed), who was reportedly gang-raped by BSF agents in early 2002, released. After the alleged rape, the victim and her small daughter were unjustly imprisoned at Kolkata's Presidency Jail. The Commission took up the issue of the rape victim's release from custody. The Commission's measures led to Mrs. Das's release from custody and transfer to her brother's safe custody.
In addition to these accomplishments, the Commission's Legal Cell has suggested changes to several Acts and a number of new proposals. The Hindu Marriage Act of 1955, the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1971, and the Indian Penal Code of 1960 have all received revision proposals from the Commission. The Marriage Bill of 1994, the Domestic Violence against Women (Prevention) Bill of 1994, and the Prevention of Barbarous and Beastly Cruelty Against Women Bill of 1995 are just a few of the bills that the Commission has presented.
These laws have recently been passed in several cases, including the Domestic Violence to Women (Prevention) Bill. The chapter describing the functions of the Commission mentions a number of court instances in which the Commission has intervened. The Commission's Research Cell has conducted a number of studies on subjects including social mobilization, maintenance and divorcee women, women working under contract, gender bias in judicial decisions, family courts, violence against women, women's access to health and education in slums, and related subjects.
Under Section 8 (1) of the Act of 1990, the Commission also established a number of inquiry commissions to look into topics like law and legislation, political empowerment, custodial justice for women, social security, panchayati raj, women and the media, development of women from Scheduled Tribes, development of women from underrepresented groups, development of women from minority communities, and the transfer of agricultural technology for the advancement of women.
The anti-child marriage movements in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh are among the other notable events. The Commission has successfully arranged public hearings on issues affecting Muslim women, the influence of globalization on women, difficulties relating to land, and the economic development of tribal women across the nation.
The Commission has completed the majority of the tasks outlined in its mandate in the brief period of fourteen years. The conditions of the Indian woman have unquestionably improved because to various public hearings, outreach initiatives, counselling services, and legal work.
Summary: Analysis and Shortcomings
According to the previous chapters, the Commission has succeeded in carrying out its mandate within the relatively short time frame of fourteen years, if not entirely then to a significant degree. The accomplishments listed in the preceding chapter are just a few of many others that demonstrate how well-liked and favored the Commission is for Indian women. There is no question about the Commission's effectiveness or the good job it is doing for Indian women, but there are several flaws in the way it now operates that, if fixed, would make it more effective and productive. The following are its flaws:
(a)The Commission lacks specific legislative authority
• The Commission lacks the authority to choose its own members and is limited to making recommendations for reforms and submitting reports that are not enforceable against state or federal governments. The Commission is dependent on grants from the Union Government for its financial functioning, which could compromise the independence of the Commission.
• The Commission's jurisdiction is not applicable in Jammu and Kashmir, and given the current political unrest and human rights violations in the region, the Commission's presence there is questionable.
• This power is vested in the Union Government, and in India's volatile political environment, the Commission may become politicized.
Conclusions and Recommendations:
The causes stated here have both advantages and disadvantages, but each drawback has a solution. The following recommendation would be helpful to include in order to address the aforementioned shortcomings:
The Commission recommended giving the NCW chairperson the position of a Minister in the Union Cabinet and the members the status of a Minister of State. The Commission must be given the authority to choose its own members as this will give the Commission more control and increase the weight of its recommendations. If necessary, a different entity made up of members of the Commission should be established to carry out these duties.
To ensure the Commission to operate efficiently, it must be given monies from both the Union and State Budgets. Funds are currently exclusively distributed at the Central level, not the state level. We all know about the horrors in Jammu and Kashmir. Considering these actions, the Commission's presence in the area is highly important and ought to be permitted.
We must also look at how the government is implementing the aforementioned clauses and recommendations in this context. Furthermore, it is the responsibility of all citizens to investigate whether or not such improper behavior is occurring in our community. To make the work of the National Commission for Women more legitimate, there should be greater public participation and knowledge of women's oppression.