March 1, 2024

HPAS/Allied Mains 2022 Answer Writing Challenge Day 10: Model Answer

Question: Analyse the Enactments made by Himachal Pradesh Governments for the protection and welfare of the interests of Women. (20 Marks, 400 Words)

Answer: 

Himachal Pradesh has shown remarkable progress in women’s development within a short span of four decades. Women are repositories of culture and traditional knowledge. Status of women and their progress is important for evolution of society. The state has shown high sex ratio (972), female literacy (76%) and work participation. Inequalities are diminishing with the passage of time.

Himachal Pradesh government has taken multiple steps for the protection and welfare of the interests of women:

ACTS:

Himachal Pradesh State Commission for Women Act, 1996:

Functions:

  • Investigate and examine all matters relating to the safeguards provided for women under the Constitution and other laws.
  • Present to the State Government reports upon the working of those safeguards.

Child Marriage Prohibition Act, 2006: This act criminalised the child marriage in India and Himachal Pradesh.

Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005:

It is an Act of the Parliament enforced in Himachal Pradesh to protect women from domestic violence.

The Act provides a definition of “domestic violence” for the first time in Indian law, with this definition being broad and including not only physical violence, but also other forms of violence such as emotional/verbal, sexual, and economic abuse. It is a civil law meant primarily for protection orders, rather than criminal enforcement.

THE DOWRY PROHIBITION (HIMACHAL PRADESH AMENDMENT) ACT, 1976:

According to this act, if any person demands, directly or indirectly, from the parents or guardian of a bride or bridegroom or from any other person, as the case may be, any dowry, he shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to one year and with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees.”

PROGRAMMES:

Grihini Suvidha Yojana :

Union government envisioned a scheme Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojna, under which gas connections were provided free of cost to poor women of rural areas. The State Government had launched Himachal Grihini Suvidha Yojna to cover the left out families of the State, who were not covered under the Centre Scheme.

This scheme has resulted in  women empowerment and will also  help in creating a pollution free  environment in the State.

Ek Buta Beti Ke Naam:

The  scheme has been launched to  sensitize people about the  importance of daughters and forest  conservation. Through this scheme  a plant /sapling along with a kit will  be provided to the parents on the  birth of a girl child.

Beti Hai Anmol Yojna

This scheme is for girls of BPL families up to two girl children. After their birth, the department deposits rupees 10,000 per girl child in the post office/ Bank account.

Mukhya Mantri Kanyadan Yojna

Under this programme marriage grant of `51,000 is being given  to the guardians of the destitute girls for their marriages provided their annual income does not exceed `35,000.

Self Employment Assistance for women

Under this scheme 5,000 rupees are provided to the women having annual income less than 35,000 rupees for carrying income generating  activities.

Mother- Teresa Asahaya Matri Sambal Yojna

Objective of this scheme is to provide financial assistance to widow women for educating and looking after their children up to two children till they attain age of 18 years. In this scheme women get rupees 3000 per annum per child.

Financial Assistance & Support Service To Vicitm Of Rape Scheme -2012

Mahila Shakti Kendra

Mahila Shakti Kendra scheme is approved under Beti Bachao Beti Padhao at Block level in all the districts of Himachal Pradesh. The objective of the scheme is to empower rural women through community participation. Student volunteers will play an instrumental role in awareness generation regarding various important government schemes/programmes as well as social issues.

 Saksham Gudiya Board

The main objective of the scheme is to make recommendations for the policies for empowerment of girl child/ adolescent girls, acts, rules, policies and programme related to safety and security to review the implementation of various programmes being run by different departments for upliftment and empowerment and for protection of crime against girl child/adolescent girl.

  • Even though Himachal Pradesh government has taken many steps to promote the interests of women but still women are facing multiple challenges. Even after implementation of child marriage act in Himachal Pradesh, Child marriages are more prevalent among girls, who face odds at home or drop out from school for lack of access.
  • The cases of domestic violence are on the rise in Himachal Pradesh, with the state recording 8.3 per cent cases of domestic violence as per the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 2019- 20 as compared to 5.9 per cent cases recorded in NFHS 2015-16 report.
  • There are many instances where we have seen dowry cases in Himachal Pradesh.
  • Himachal Pradesh ranked among the top five states in the country in terms of crime rate (crime per one lakh population) of several offences against women, as per the NCRB’s ‘Crime in India 2018’ published earlier this year.
  • According to the report, recent years have witnessed a sharp rise in number of untraced missing females, increasing from 32 in 2015 to 225 in 2019 and 163 so far this year.

However, on the positive side, Himachal Pradesh has a stable population with low infant mortality. Fertility reduction has taken place for both educated and illiterate women and has brought about development in the state. It has strong association with health and human development indicators although the possible causes maybe economic growth and social evolution.

The women’s work participation has witnessed gradual increase over decades. The absence of taboos and the active involvement of service delivery institutions were the casual factors along with the implementation of NREGA, which provided an opportunity for work with timely payment.

Women in  Himachal Pradesh have been primarily involved in economic activities outside the home. They work in fields, rear animals and are also engaged in small cottage industries. Beside, they are also holding job in government offices as well as in private sector. All these factors have contributed to their economic independence, freedom of movement, decision making power and social recognition.

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