One-third of Delhi cops to be women - India govt

2015-03-21 09:03

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New Delhi - The Indian government on Friday approved a proposal to reserve one-third of police posts in Delhi for women, its latest move to address shocking levels of sexual violence against women in the capital.

The decision, taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is part of a series of steps taken in the last few months to strengthen laws against sexual violence.

"[The cabinet] today [Friday] gave its approval for making reservations of 33% for women... in direct recruitment in non-gazetted posts... of all union territories, including Delhi," a government statement said.

There are seven union territories in India, including Delhi, which are partially or wholly administered by the national government.

The government decision will apply to all future recruitment drives for police field ranks from constable to sub-inspector.

Government hoped that its decision will make the police forces "more gender sensitive".

"It will also instil confidence among women to enable them to approach the police without hesitation for seeking protection and assistance as and when required," the government said.

India has seen an outpouring of anger over high levels of violence against women, which surged in the aftermath of the 2012 gang rape of a medical student on a bus in Delhi.

The brutal incident shocked both India and the world, and led to a series of amendments to incorporate much stricter punishment for rape and other sexual crimes in the country.

In the past activists have complained that the attitude among the male-dominated police forces across the country makes female victims much more reluctant to register complaints.

Many on social media welcomed the government's move.

"33 percent reservation in police forces for women a good step taken by central government," Devendranath Yadav said on Twitter.

The government's statement released to the media also acknowledged the importance of women's representation in the police force.

"A skewed police force with adequate gender representation is a major practical barrier in effective implementation of legislation intended for the protection of women," it said.

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