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Repeating Old Themes

Draft National Policy for Women, 2016

Fifteen years after the last National Policy for Empowerment of Women in 2001, it was expected that the draft of the new policy circulated in 2016 would have new elements and greater insights. Instead, it appears to be a repeat of the old and a listing of new areas without enough to convince people that this is more than just a list of intentions.

The Draft National Policy for Women was unveiled on 17 May after more than a decade. The last such policy called the National Policy for Empowerment of Women was formulated in 2001, also by a Bharatiya Janata Party-led government. On the whole media response has been positive to this policy. It has been lauded for identifying contemporary issues like the changing nature of gender roles in “the new millennium, and the dynamics of a rapidly changing global and national scenario” (Draft National Policy for Women 2016).

Some of the measures highlighted to combat the mentioned problem are praiseworthy. These include emphasis on collection of gender disaggregated data and redistribution of gender roles in the household as well as the workplace. The former will be indicative of how policies, schemes and policy measures affect each gender. This information will be useful for making policies that would have a positive effect on redistribution of traditionally compartmentalised gender roles.

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