THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a major development, the Left Government is all set to form a new department exclusively for women and child development. The Cabinet meet on Wednesday gave its nod for setting up the new department. The Left Front had announced in its manifesto that a new department would be formed for women’s welfare. Later, the government also announced the same in its 2016 policy address. The new department will be formed bifurcating the existing Social Justice Department. Gender auditing and coordination with other departments on women-related issues will come under the new department.
The Cabinet noted the demands for a separate department for the development of women and children have been there in the public arena for some time. It will help provide equal opportunities for women in development matters, in addition to ensuring them protection from atrocities and gender discrimination. Also, it would ensure protection of child rights.
The government had entrusted Social Justice Department former director V N Jithendran with the task of studying the feasibility of setting up a women and child development department. The responsibilities and powers of the new department have been fixed based on his recommendations.
The new department will handle matters related to care and protection of women and children, in addition to their welfare, development, rehabilitation and strengthening. A number of government bodies, including 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 Cabinet has also decided to create necessary posts for the new department. In addition to a director, there will be 14 district officers, law officer and administrative officer.