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With 25.30% Women Cops, Bihar Has Best Gender Balance in Police Force But Shoots Wide of 33% Target

By: Nivedita Singh

News18.com

Last Updated: August 13, 2021, 19:11 IST

The home ministry had asked all the state governments to increase the representation of women police officers to 33 per cent of the total strength with advisories issued in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2019 and 2021. Representational pic

The home ministry had asked all the state governments to increase the representation of women police officers to 33 per cent of the total strength with advisories issued in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2019 and 2021. Representational pic

Of the total 20.91 lakh police personnel in all the states and union territories, there are 2.15 lakh women, or 10.30 per cent of the entire force, government data shows.

With one khaki-clad woman among every four police officials, Bihar is the best-performing state across India in terms of gender balance in the force, as per union home ministry data.

The national average says India has only one woman in every 10 police personnel, even though the ministry has advised states and union territories to have one woman in every three personnel.

Of the total 20.91 lakh police personnel in all the states and union territories, there are 2.15 lakh women, or 10.30 per cent of the entire force, according to the home ministry data presented in the Lok Sabha this week.

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When it comes to the number of women in the police force, they account for 25.30 per cent of its total strength in Bihar, even though it is yet to meet the 33 per cent representation sought by the union home ministry.

Out of Bihar’s total police force of 91,862 personnel, 23,245 are women, including 21,643 constables, as per the data up to January 2020.

The ministry had asked all the state governments to increase the representation of women police officers to 33 per cent of the total strength with advisories issued in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2019 and 2021. All the state governments were asked to create additional posts of women constables/sub-inspectors by converting the vacant posts of male constables.

“The aim is that each police station should have at least three women sub-inspectors and 10 women police constables, so that a women’s help desk is manned round the clock,” the Ministry said in a statement.

While Bihar stood first in terms of percentage, Uttar Pradesh topped the chart in sheer numbers with 29,112 women police personnel. However, it accounted for only 9.6 per cent of the sanctioned 3.03 lakh posts in the state.

Bihar, with women accounting for over 25 per cent of the police force, is followed by Himachal Pradesh (19.15 per cent); Chandigarh (18.78 per cent); Tamil Nadu (18.5 per cent) and Ladakh (18.47 per cent).

At least 24 states and union territories have women’s representation below the national average. The worst performer was Jammu and Kashmir where only 3.31 per cent of the police force is women. Among the states and UTs, it is the only region that has less than five per cent of women’s participation in the force. The state has 2,677 women in the police, including 1,499 constables, out of the total strength of 80,938.

Other states with women’s representation below 10 per cent, apart from Jammu and Kashmir, are Rajasthan, Nagaland, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Karnataka, Sikkim, Assam, Puducherry, Kerala, Mizoram, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya, Tripura and Telangana.

The ministry said that the states have been advised to strengthen welfare measures for women police personnel and ensure their safety and a conducive work environment.

An adequate number of women in police is essential for reducing crimes against women, experts say. As per the Bureau of Police Research & Development (BPR&D), the existing ‘Woman Police Population Ratio’ is still very low. To put things into perspective, there is only one woman police personnel for about 3,026 women. This is despite the fact that the strength of women in police has nearly doubled between 2014 and 2019.

Poor representation of women in police is posing serious challenges in dealing with crimes against women and women criminals, the body said in one of its reports.

The BPR&D suggested that it is essential that women police personnel are visible at the cutting-edge level.

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first published:August 13, 2021, 17:29 IST
last updated:August 13, 2021, 19:11 IST