THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala is to have a new department exclusively for women and child development. It will be carved out of the existing social justice department.
The new department will conduct gender audits and coordinate with other departments on women-related issues. A number of government agencies including the Women's Commission, Child Rights Commission, Gender Park, Nirbhaya project, Child Welfare Council, Anganwadi Welfare Board and destitute homes will come under the new department.
The new department will have a director, 14 district officers, a law officer and an administrative officer. The support staff will include a confidential assistant. The staff will be redeployed to the new department from other departments at the district level.
The state cabinet greenlighted the new department Wednesday. The ministers noted that having a separate department would help in providing equal opportunities to women in development and protect them from discrimination and violence.
The responsibilities and powers of the new department have been fixed on the basis of the recommendations of VN Jithendran, a former director of the social justice department, who was asked to study the feasibility of a separate department for women and child development.