National Conference of Women in Police [NCWP], organized under the aegis of BPR&D, MHA is a platform to address the grievances of women in uniform and create an enabling atmosphere for them to maximize and optimize their potential. Need was long felt to have an empowered body which shall deal with capacity building for women police officers and provide sufficient exposure in the core police functions for achieving absolute professionalism. NCWP unfolded as a total solution for accomplishing this goal.

The debut to augment this effort was made in 2002 by organizing the 1st edition of NCWP in New Delhi by BPR&D in collaboration with Delhi Police as host organization.  Women Police Officers cutting across different ranks from all across states/UT and CAPFs vigorously participated in the conference to have their voice in the uniform services usually dominated by the males.

NCWP has continuously worked on strengthening and monitoring of mechanism for sexual harassment in all the Police Organizations/ CAPFs by suggesting active ways and means. Sincere efforts have been made for issues related with gender sensitization for all police ranks, exclusive infrastructural development for women police like rest rooms, toilets, crèche, etc, similar opportunities for women in career planning and other welfare measures like maternity and child care leave, police housing etc.

Riding on the success of 1st NCWP, another five conferences were organized in various parts of our country with full media attention at 2nd NCWP, Uttarakhand [2005], 3rd NCWP, Haryana [2009] , 4th NCWP ,Odisha [2010], 5th NCWP, Kerala [2012] and 6th NCWP , Assam [2014] with active support of  BPR&D, MHA.

The responsibility of organizing the 7th edition of NCWP has been entrusted upon CRPF which also nurtures sufficient strength of women in exclusive five Mahila Battalions and female components of RAF. To the achievement of the host organization, 88 [M] Bn has recently celebrated its silver jubilee and is on way to further glory.

The success of various chapters of NCWP can be gauged by the massive participation of women officers of all ranks having something concrete to share for the value addition of women in the police/forces.  Resultantly, it has prevailed upon Central/State   Governments to legislate favourably for increasing their representation in the police forces and implement its various recommendations in true spirit .Thus in totality, it hold promises to open up new vistas for women police to rise and run shoulder-to- shoulder with their male partners.

 

 

The Numbers and Representation of Women in Policing:-

 

Kerala was the first Indian state to have women in the police force, beginning with the first woman inducted into the then Travancore Royal Police in 1933. Thereafter recruitment of women into the police in other states began only after independence, and even then it was sporadic at best. it was not until 1972 that the first woman was appointed to the Indian Police Service. By the time the National Police Commission completed its eight reports in 1981, women accounted for a mere 3000 or 0.4% of the total police in the country.

Violence against women in India is coupled with little access to remedies. The particularly brutal gang-rape and murder of a young woman in Delhi in 2012 brought to the fore the numerous dangers women have to contend with in daily life. 80 This led to calls for greater attention to the problem of violence against women, and ihtandem, the need for more women in policing. Beyond the value of greater diversity as a good in itself, it was felt that more women can improve the sensitivity and quality of police response to women by changing the internal culture. The figures do show a slight increase in the numbers since then; but after the heat of the moment died down, efforts to bring in more women as a minimum condition of improved response have been sporadic and the pace of inducting women remains glacial.

Statistics on police numbers in general and of women police in particular have been gathered and published by the Bureau of Police Research and Development since 2005. As on 1/1/2014, the total strength of police in India stands at 1,722,786.81 For a population of 1.22 billion, this leaves a ratio of approximately one police officer for every 708 people.

 

Coming to women, there are 105,325 female police officers in India, making up a national average of 11% of the police, as follows:

 

Table 3 : State- wise Strength of Women Police as a Percentage of the Total Police Force

 

State /UT

Total Police Force

Total Woman Police (numbers)

Total Women Police as % of police

Rank (1-35, highest-lowest)

Chandigarh

7,181

1,017

14.16

1

Tamil Nadu

1,11,448

13842

12.42

2

Andaman & Nicobar (A&N) Islands

3,947

445

11.27

3

Himachal Pradesh

14,024

1,552

11.07

4

Maharashtra

1,71,359

17,957

10.48

5

D & N Haveli

261

26

9.96

6

Daman & Diu

373

34

9.12

7

Odisha

51.396

4.381

8.52

8

Uttarakhand

18,187

1,528

8.4

9

Manipur

24,832

2,040

8.22

10

Sikkim

4,281

333

7.78

11

Delhi

75,704

5,413

7.15

12

Rajasthan

92,330

6,568

7.11

13

Haryana

41,112

2,734

6.65

14

Punjab

73,782

4,761

6.44

15

Kerala

47,782

3,067

6.42

16

Goa

5,924

366

6.18

17

Lakshadweep

264

16

6.06

18

Mizoram

9,895

568

5.74

19

Puducherry

3,143

165

5.25

20

Arunachal Pradesh

11,247

582

5.17

21

Jharkhand

56,439

2,906

5.15

22

Karnataka

72,011

3,682

5.11

23

Madhya Pradesh

86,946

4,190

4.82

24

West Bengal

79,476

3,791

4.77

25

Andhra Pradesh

1,06,635

4,622

4.33

26

Chhattisgarh

54,693

2,348

4.29

27

Uttar Pradesh

1,68,851

7,238

4.29

27

Gujrat

74,023

2,691

3.64

29

Bihar

68,819

2,341

3.4

30

Tripura

23,619

777

3.29

31

Jammu & Kashmir

72,196

2,252

3.12

32

Meghalaya

11,453

329

2.87

33

Nagaland

24,030

253

1.05

34

Assam

55,033

510

0.93

35

All India

17,22,786

1,05,325

6.11

 

 

Overall, taken year on year, the numbers and representation of women in the police has grown, albeit slowly. But at 6.11% in 2014, the national average is still far from the ideal target of 33% set by the ministry of Home Affairs in 2009 and reinforced again in 2013.

 

Table 4 : Year- wise Total Percentage of Women Police.

 

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

1,05,325

97,518

84,479

71,756

66,153

56,667

57,466

6.11%

5.87%

5.3%

4.6%

4.2%

6%

3.9%

 

LIKEWISE, WITHIN STATES AND Union Territories, the figures have steadily increased, with some notable improvements. As of 1/1/2014, Chandigarh ( 14.16%), Tamil Nadu (12.42%) and A&N Islands (11.27%) recorded the higher representation of women police, Assam (0.93%), Nagaland (1.05%) and Meghalaya (2.87%) are lagging behind the most. Looking back over the last few years, Chandigarh, Tamil Nadu and A&N Islands have consistently done better in recruiting women, with Nagaland and Assam at the bottom of the table.

 

Of the states visited for this report, a closer look at the numbers reveal some gains made:

 

·              Meghalay has succeeded in almost doubling its numbers of female police officers from 174 in 2008 to 329 in 2014, constituting an increase of 1% overall.

·              Haryana has doubled its numbers and almost trebled the percentage of female officers from 1358/ 2.7% in 2008 to 2734 / 6.65% in 2014. A specific increase from 2011-2012 of almost 1000 additional officers saw the percentage go from 4.9% to 7.5%.

·              Jharkhand has seen an increase from 1701 to 2906; with a particular increase of almost 1,000 officers between 2013 and 2014 which saw the percentage jump from 3.4% to 5.15%.

·              Kerala has been pretty consistent over those years with no significant increases or decreases. The numbers currently stand at 3067 officers constituting 6.42% of the force.

·              Rajasthan has almost doubled the percentage and trebled the numbers of female police from 4% /2,662 in 2008 to 7.11% / 6,568 in 2014.  

 

Many states have acted on the MHA’s advisories to adopt a reservation policy for women in police forces. To date 12 states- Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamilnadu, Odisha, Bihar, Sikkim , Gujarat, Madhyapradesh , Jharkhand, Tripura, Telengana and Uttarakhand – and the centre (for all seven union territories) have a reservation policy of 30% or more for women in their police forces.

 

States

Reservation %

Year

Maharashtra

30

1971

Rajasthan

30

1989

Tamilnadu,

30

1989

Odisha,

33

1992

Bihar

35

2013

Sikkim

30

2013

Gujrat

33

2014

Madhyapradesh

30

2014

Uttarakhand

15

2014

Jharkhand

33

2015

Centre(For the Union Territories)

33

2015

Tripura

30

2015

Telengana

35

2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Generally , reservations apply at the recruitment entry points of constable and sub-inspector rank. All across, however, the target remains very much on paper, Nowhere is there a detailed recruitment plan or a timeline for achieving the target. This is why even in states which adopted reservation for women in police decades ago, the highest representation is only at 12%, still a long gulf from the 33%. Maharashtra has had a reservation (30%) in place since 1971 ( the longest running at 44 years to the present), but women police are barely pushing 10% of the force. Tamil Nadu has attained 12% after 26 years, Rajasthan only 7% in the same period: and Odisha is not even at 10% after 23 years. Even with evidence of minor incremental gains, these dismal figures reveal the lack of priority to actually fill the numbers with women in police departments.

Further, the adoption of a reservation policy does not always mean there is a genuine acceptance of women from the highest police and political leadership. After the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh announced that the reservation for women in the state police should be raised to 33% from the present 30 %, both the police headquarters and the home department reportedly objected on the ground that the majority of policing work can only be done by men and an infusion of greater number of women police would be detrimental to the force. In spite of an apparently welcoming approach towards women, deeply engrained discriminatory attitudes can still persist to block women’s entry into the police.

Key policy Initiatives

There are several initiatives which have facilitated research, discussion, the convening of stakeholders, and the framing of recommendations on a gamut of issues relating to women in policing. These are positive in themselves, but are stymied by a slow pace of implementation to balance work and home life in particular cause many women to leave. This needs to be investigated and monitored.

With regard to promotion in the police department, there are several problems which adversely affect women police. First , promotions within the department are mired in problems. Annual performance appraisal reports and seniority rolls, on the basis of which promotions at the subordinate ranks are based, are not completed on time. Long delays have stunted promotion opportunities for many officers, both men and women. It is very common to hear of personnel at head constable or sub-inspector rank serving the same position for over 20 years. Concerns over lack of objectivity and uniformity in the appraisal system and promotions were raised way back in 1981 by the national police commission which highlighted discrepancies in record management, and the scope for prejudices and bias in filling the evaluation forms. The commission strongly advocated for a change in order to make the system merit0- based and professional: however, these recommendations have largely remained unheeded by most states.

For women police the problem is further compounded because of the separate cadre system for men and women at the subordinate ranks. Only a select number of posts at the head constable, sub-inspector and inspector ranks are assigned to women police. As a result, there are fewer opportunities for promotion. A male constable can typically rise up to the rank of sub-inspector in the span of his career , but with few posts assigned for women at both head constable and SI rank , very few women constable can get promoted. A look at the figures of women across ranks shows that most women are concentrated in the lower ranks. The number of women in senior positions in the police in india paints a sorry picture.

 

 

Rank

Number

As percentage of male equivalents

DGP/SPL/DG/ADGP

16

4 %

IGP

44

7.8 %

DIG

20

3.2 %

AIGP/SSP/SP/COM

190

6.7 %

ADDL SP/DY.COM

162

6.9 %

ASP/DY.SP/Asst.COM

496

4 %

INSP

1,234

3.8 %

SI

5,668

4.4 %

ASI

3,553

2.8 %

Head constable

8,246

2.3 %

Constable

85,696

5.2 %

Total

1,05,325

 

 

As in other contexts, women are concentrated in the constable and head constable positions. Out of a total 396 DGP/Spl/DG/ADGP posts, a mere 16 are women; only 20 out of 607 DIGs; and 1,234 out of 31,754 inspectors. Percentages of women represented in higher ranks are slightly higher only because the total numbers of all personnel at those ranks are lower. It must be emphasized that these figures- which clearly show the   ranks and levels at which there problems are worst and thus concerted effort is needed- are regularly collected and collated by the bureau of police research and development and as such are readily available to inform policy for those who are in a position or have the duty to act.