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Women have no fair share in police force.

GENDER bias, stereotyping and segmentation of duties are primary reasons for women comprising just 6.11 per cent of India's police force, a latest report on women cops in South Asia has claimed.

Around 1.05 lakh women are part of the country's police force out of 22.83 lakh personnel, said the report " Rough Roads to Equality -- Women Police in South Asia". The report is the outcome of a study conducted by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative ( CHRI).

Other South Asian Countries in the study were Bangladesh, Maldives and Pakistan. In India, Kerala, Haryana, Meghalaya, Rajasthan and Jharkhand were the focus of the study.

Chandigarh tops the chart with 14.16 per cent women in police force while Assam is at the bottom with just 0.93 per cent. Chandigarh has the highest women police personnel whereas no female officer heads any of Kerala's 475 police stations.

" In India, despite the Ministry of Home Affairs having set a target of increasing women's representation to 33 per cent in police force, the Gender bias is a major hurdle

ground situation remains abysmal," said study co- editor Devika Prasad.

" There's still no common cadre for recruiting constables.

Separate posts for women are often very less and it also affects their promotion.

Infrastructural deficiencies, namely lack of toilets for women, also hinder any attempt to increase the abysmally low presence of women. Many police stations in India do not have toilets at all," she said.

During the study, a respondent said, " Women police commonly perceive gender discrimination regarding allocation of duties." Another respondent said, " There is a mentality of discrimination ... no one has an issue if a male constable in the line of duty is useless or lies around drunk.

But everyone has a problem if a woman asks for leave." One respondent said, " It is difficult to be on duty 24 hours -- particularly when there are less facilities available to us."

There are different maternity entitlement rules. Central government employees get maternity leave of up to 180 days and child care leave up to two years anytime during their entire service till the child turns 18 years of age. At the state level, maternity leave varies from 135 to 180 days across states while the two- year leave is rare.

The report analysed the situation of women in policing in Bangladesh, India, Maldives and Pakistan and found the region fares poorly in terms of representation of women.

The study found the number of women cops in Bangladesh to be 4.6 per cent; Maldives 7.4 per cent and Pakistan 0.9 per cent as of 2014- 2015.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Aug 19, 2015
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