NEW DELHI: The National Commission for Women on Thursday favoured a relook at India’s family planning programme which focuses only on female sterilisation.
Arguing that just focussing on female sterilisation was leading to increasing incidents of HIV transmission and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD), NCW Chairperson Lalitha Kumaramangalam said that the family planning programme was heavily biased towards putting the onus of sterilisation on women.
“This was leading to more diseases being sexually transmitted,” Kumaramangalam said.
She said that this demand had been raised by many activists and stakeholders in gender discourse during the consultations held on the new National Policy for Women.
The NCW is holding five such major consultations across the country.
Kumaramangalam said that some of the other proposals which were made include a gender audit of all government programmes being run both at the state and the central level.
Many women also demanded that there should be a portability of benefits which they can avail from government schemes.
“Many women who migrate for work, lose the benefits they were getting in their home states as their identity is based on ration cards. They wanted that such benefits be linked to Adhar and can be availed of anywhere in the country,” the NCW Chairperson said.
There were also suggestions on universal policy for child care which include compulsory creches at all work places.
The NCW has held three consultations across the country so far. The discussions are being held with regional stakeholders across the nation by engaging with civil society representatives, legal experts, academic and specialised institutions working on women and gender issues.
The draft National Policy for Women, which was unveiled last month seeks to address the emerging challenges confronting women. It includes new threats to women’s security like protection against cyber-crime, surrogate mothers and focussing on men in family planning policies.
It also talks about facilitating women in the work place. The policy, has been revised after a time period of 15 years.
It provides a roadmap for dealing with women's issues for next 15-20 years and will replace the earlier policy of 2001. It would will be finalized after consultation with all stakeholders including NGOs, civil society among others.