Rajasthan State Commission for Women: RSCW: Introduction and Recent Initiatives

RSCW: Background

An international treaty, CEDAW (Convention on Elimination of Discrimination against Women) to ensure women’s empowerment was signed in 1979. India signed this treaty with some amendments on 9 July, 1993 and in consonance to International efforts for women’s empowerment, National Policy for Women was declared in 1996. Subsequently, National Commission for Women and State Commissions for Women were constituted.

screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-12-09-27-amOn 23th April 1999, the state government introduced Rajasthan State Commission for Women Act (1999) in Rajasthan Vidhan Sabha, the act was passed Rajasthan State Commission for Women was constituted as statutory body on 15th May 1999. Current Chairperson of RSCW is Smt. Suman Sharma.

 

RSCW: Aim & Objectives:

  • Redress the grievances of the suffering women across the State of Rajasthan
  • Safeguard the interests of women across the State
  • Advise the Government of Rajasthan on all Policy matters affecting women
  • Review prevailing laws concerning women and to request the government to make amendments for women to get justice.
  • Recommend remedial legislative measures.

 

RSCW: Functions of the Commission

Section 11 of the Rajasthan State Women Commission Act, 1999, elaborates the functions of the Commission, but in short, these are as follows:

  • To investigate and analyze all unjustified acts committed against women and to request the government to take action.
  • To take steps to make the existing laws more effective and ensure their implementation.
  • To review existing laws and recommend amendments.
  • To prevent any discrimination against women in state public services and state public enterprises.
  • To take steps to alleviate the condition of women by suggesting practical welfare schemes, appealing to the government to provide equal opportunities
  • Appealing to the government to take strict action against any public servant found by the commission to be working against the interests of women.
  • To submit Annual/ Special Reports to Government with its recommendation.

 

RSCW: Initiatives:

Recent Initiative: Mahila Panchayat

Rajasthan State Commission for Women (RSCW) will now organize mahila panchayats.

  • The mahila panchayat will consist of mahila sarpanch and five members.
  • It will be held every month and will hear cases related to atrocities against women.
  • It will also conduct counseling and spread awareness on crime against women.
  • The mahila panchayat will send its report to RSCW monthly.
  • The panchayat will be organized on every Monday and will include individual hearing and public hearing.

Mahila Manch

  • RSCW has also constituted mahila manch in 19 districts.
  • RSCW has also introduced a mobile App to get immediate police help in emergency situation.

24 Hour Helpline:

  •  A 24 x 7 toll free Helpline Number 1091 is operational at the commission for the speedy redressal of grievances of women complainants.
  • There are 4 Counsellors from the field of sociology and law, who receive complaints on telephone as well as personally.

Mahila Salah and Suraksha Kendra (MSSK):

  • 39 MSSK centers are run across the Rajasthan state by Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to address the grievances of women victims.

Zila Mahila Sahayata Samiti:

  • These Samitis are in operation in all 33 districts of the state since 1997.
  • The Samiti is chaired by the Zila Pramukh and the District Collector serves as its Vice-Chairperson.

Mahila Desk:

  • These desks are set up in all police stations of Rajasthan. Any woman can approach the desk for the redressal of grievances.

Gender Cell:

  • Gender Cell of the Commission organizes seminars/Workshops and awareness campaigns across the State.
  • Commission targets youth audience in schools and Colleges for gender sensitization.

Complaint Cell:

  • The SWC takes action on complaints submitted to commission in written form by women.
  • Factual reports from concerned authority from local bodies are taken and according to the situation of cases, directives are sent to the law enforcement machinery or administrative authority to provide relief and justice to the women.

Public Hearing Cell:

  • The commission organizes public hearing programs in all 33 districts of Rajasthan state on regular intervals for the benefit of women who are unable to reach it due to some reasons.

Mahila Desk:

  • These desks are set up in all police stations of Rajasthan. Any woman can approach the desk for the redressal of grievances.

Special Courts:

  • Earlier there were only two courts to hear the cases of atrocities against women in Jaipur & Kota. But from the financial year 2012-13, the Government has established five more such special courts in all the Divisional Headquarters.
  • Besides this, seven courts have been established to hear cases related to PC&PNDT Act.