NEW DELHI: Government today agreed with members' concern over the condition of women in India and asserted that a number of steps have been to empower them as well as tackling challenges facing them, which will result in them doing "much better" in a couple of years.
Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi cited measures, including having special police volunteers in every village, woman help-lines in states that will be universalised and panic buttons in mobiles, being taken in this regard.
"I agree that the condition of women has not been good in the last few years. In the next few years we will do much better," she told Lok Sabha while answering a question on the issue during the Question Hour.
According to the Global Gender Gap report 2015 of the World Economic Forum, India has been ranked 108 out of 145 countries, the government said, adding it was an improvement from 114th position in 2014.
BJP member Hukum Singh cited crime figures and India's rather low ranking in the global report and wondered if all the laws made in the country were helping the cause of women.
In her response, Gandhi said the government can give much better figures in the next two years.
She also refuted reported comments, cited by Singh, of Indian women settled in the US that India was not safe for them, saying "they should be worried about the country they have adopted" as incidents of rape were 10 to 100 times more in the US and European countries.
Gandhi said the government has already set up 10 women crisis centres and plans to increase them to 660 in all the districts. The centres provide free medical, legal and police help to women and their activities monitored daily, she said.
The 'beti bachao' scheme launched in places with particularly poor gender ratio was working well, she said, adding that figures since it was started a year were looking "very good".
The Centre's decision to reserve 33 per cent of posts in police force, a decision implemented by all UTs and seven states with others promising to follow suit, will also go a long way in protecting women, she said.
She said her ministry was downgraded during the earlier governmens and "not taken seriously" but it was no longer so.
Giving National Crime Records Bureau figures, she said a total of 244270, 309546 and 337922 cases were reproted in the country under crime against women category during 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively.