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Maharashtra: Committee formed to finalise women`s policy

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - 21:27

Mumbai: Maharashtra government on Tuesday set up an 11-member committee headed by Women and Child Welfare Minister Varsha Gaikwad to finalise the women`s policy draft which was unveiled on March 8, celebrated as International Women`s Day.

The two-month period for seeking objections and suggestions for the draft policy ends tomorrow.

The committee will meet on May 10 to discuss the inputs received and give a final shape to the proposed policy, officials said here today.

Prominent among the suggestions, recommendations and objections have been received from social activists Swati Kamble and Sagar Zende. Officials said the duo has been asked to make their presentations.

The two activists have said that there was scope for improvement in the draft policy to make it more inclusive in terms of Dalits, scheduled caste and scheduled tribes, nomadic and de-notified tribe women. They said the draft policy ignores issues of diversity, historical injustice on oppressed social groups.

According to them, even though the draft recognises and includes special categories such as women in unorganised sector, disabled and mentally-challenged women and single women, sexually abused women, eunuchs and transgendered, issues and concerns of Dalit women are raised in a very brief and insufficient manner, so much so that the draft appears caste blind and exclusionary.

The activists said sex trade should be completely abolished from the state as well as the country. According to them, it is a violation of human right of girls and women involved in the sex trade. They should be rehabilitated and dignified livelihood must be ensured to them. They asked the government to take the responsibility to abolish the sex trade.

Another recommendation from them was that people who still invite devdasis to dance and perform during family and religious functions, should be charged with criminal offence. Devdasis who are rehabilitated, rescued must be treated in a dignified manner by police and the state machinery.


First Published: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - 21:22

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