Women work-place safety requires All-India women police service.
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A major reason for low participation of Women in India's work-force is the deficit in Women Policing
A major limitation in preventing crimes like gender discrimination and enabling safety of working women in India is grave shortage of women in police services. If the Indian state is serious about addressing the problems women participation in work force, and thereby contribute towards India's GDP, then Indian leaders must be sincere on solving problems of women safety and a wide-scale violence against women in urban and rural work spaces.
Unless the state policy gives priority and political attention to providing safety and equity to women at work and home, the country will not be able to improve its women work force participation rates. A minimum requirement is to build up an All India Women Police Service. It would strengthen working women roles in public space in the face of patriarchal attitudes of the Indian state and society.
If discrimination against women at work place is not investigated, it will lower women participation in labor-force. What other crimes against women can be addressed by women policing? These include crimes such as: sex selection at birth; girl child marriage; violence against women; high rate of female infanticide; high drop-out rates among school girls and their weaker education levels; inadequate legal protection for women; sexual harassment and exploitation at work place and unfair wage gap for women doing similar work.
All the aforementioned crimes against women in India are among the barriers in women participation in India's work force. As far as women policing in general police-work and crime, it face deep rooted male prejudices from their colleagues and superiors, such as: ‘police-women are less capable, and are physically weaker, in subduing male suspects.
But the fact is that misogynist policies do not factor crimes against women and policy for women policing have not developed strategies for recruiting, training, deploying and tasking women as police officers in India's States. The belief is that women police officers are less prone to corruption, relatively more committed to public security, women & child safety. They are better at investigation work and in resolving altercations. Women are considered more effective in oral and written communications, which has organisational advantages that compensates for their physical strength. Policewomen also face socio-psychological barriers of career bias; sexual harassment; and unprofessional discrimination from male officers. These limitations require gender sensitivity training at all levels of police command to enable female officers to compete for promotion opportunities in their State's police systems.
As policing is a state subject in India, and a culture of masculinity among the patriarchal political leaders dominates in India's various states. Combination of male indifference and policy-making inertia remains a major block against entry of policewomen. Without doubt, our public leaders fail to realize the problems and crimes being faced more than half our population, which includes women and children. It therefore falls upon the central government to raise an All Indian Women Police Service of 7 lakh policewomen. (These estimates are based on the Home Ministry's advisories to the States to make up deficits in women police recruitment over the past 15 years.)
If full scope women empowerment has to be achieved in India, then women policing policy must advocate recruitment of women for entering an Indian Women Police Service (IWPS) at upper-subordinate levels, that is of Assistant Sub Inspector. Half of the Indian women police service should be composed of professional trained Assistant Sub-Inspectors with graduate level academic education in psychology and legal studies. This should be followed by one year police training, for which a large number of high quality police training academies are required. For these kind of requirements, only the Central Government has the capacities to raise such a force. Besides, it would standardize the police-women's training and performance outcomes, professional standards and career paths. For operational tasking, this force should be deployed as company-sized units of 120 policewomen in each of India’s 5380 Tehsils, which would provide significant resource for the state police.
Even though the scale of demand for police women in India is staggering, the political solutions have to be far-sighted and courageous. Failure of the Indian state to address this dangerous deficit seriously neglects creating work-place safety for Indian women. A continued neglect to raise women-police service in India will continue to deprive human resource value addition to India's GDP.
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