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National Policy for the Empowerment of Women

As a follow up action to the commitments made by India during the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing during Sep. 1995, the Department has drafted a National Policy for the Empowerment of Women after nation-wide consultations to enhance the status of women in all walks of life on par with men and actualize the constitutional guarantee of equality without discrimination on grounds of sex.

The draft policy was considered by a core group of Experts in its meeting held on 8.11.1995. The draft policy was circulated to select women organizations for holding regional level consultations with State Governments, State Women Commissions, State Social Welfare Advisory Boards, Women's Organizations, Academicians, experts and activists. These women's organizations completed the process of regional level consultations in December, 1995.

A meeting of the Secretaries of States dealing with women Development/Social Welfare Departments was held on 27.12.1995 to consider the draft National Policy for the Empowerment of Women. The draft National Policy was also discussed in a meeting of the committee of Secretaries in the meeting held on 7.3.1996. The reformulated National Policy was discussed in the Parliamentary consultative committee attached to the Ministry of Human Resource Development on 17.12.96 and 13.02.97.

The comments/ views of the concerned Central Ministries/Departments were obtained and the revised policy document prepared on the basis of comments received from other Ministries/ Departments was sent to the Cabinet Secretariat on 30th June, 1999 for obtaining Cabinet's approval for the Policy. The Cabinet Secretariat has suggested that the process of inter- departmental consultations in the matter may be completed after formation of the new Government. The process of consultation has already been initiated.