'Women form only 7% of total police force'

Only 38,433 women personnel were inducted after 2011

'Women form only 7% of total police force'

India may take decades to achieve the target to have 33% women in police if one goes by the snail’s pace at which forces are recruiting them.

The country added only 12,040 women to its police forces in a year taking their total to 1.22 lakh as on January 1, 2016, in a force that has a sanctioned strength of 22.80 lakh. At present, there are 17.31 lakh police personnel.

The ‘Data on Police Organisation 2016’, released recently by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD), showed that the proportion of women in comparison to actual strength is just 7.10%. When compared to the 2015 report, there is an increase of 10.86% in women personnel in the force.

However, one would be surprised to know that the police forces across the country added only 38,433 women since 2011 even as the government repeatedly gives its commitment to increase their representation to 33%.

The 2016 report, like in the previous years, had reiterated that the availability of adequate women in the police force is likely to reduce vulnerability of women to crime.

If there is an overall shortage of women police personnel then how can the country meet the new challenges in the form of increased crimes against women, the report asked, emphasising the need to put policewomen on front line duties.

It is essential that women are visible at the cutting edge of public interface, the report added.

Among the states, Tamil Nadu has the highest representation of women at 12.99% (14,280 out of 1,09,948), followed by Maharashtra 12.07% (21,249 out of 1,76,044). In numbers, Maharashtra has the highest number of policewomen in the country.

Uttar Pradesh has just 7,589 women police personnel in a 1.81 lakh-strong force, which is just 4.17%. Karnataka has just 6.14% (4,354 out of 70,934) women in police forces.

The number of women officers in senior positions is also very low. While there are 484 officers in the rank of director general, special director general and additional director general, only 29 are women. Of 539 inspectors general, only 38 are women, while only 25 out of 385 deputy inspectors general are women.

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