Indian delegates attend Global Women Parliamentarians Conference for the first time

This year's conference is exploring “the role of women parliamentarians in the development, implementation, and oversight of counter-terrorism and prevention of violent extremism legislation, policies, and strategies.”
The parliamentary delegates speaking at the conference.
The parliamentary delegates speaking at the conference.(Photo |Express)

NEW DELHI: A parliamentary delegation, comprising Rajya Sabha MPs Darshana Singh and Dharmshila Gupta, is visiting Doha from June 26-27 this year to attend the Global Conference of Women Parliamentarians.

This year's conference is exploring “the role of women parliamentarians in the development, implementation, and oversight of counter-terrorism and prevention of violent extremism legislation, policies, and strategies.”

It is the first time that the Indian parliament is participating in a global women parliamentarians conference on the subject of counter-terrorism.

Highlighting the measures taken to counter terrorism and prevent violent extremism, Darshana Singh said that India has established a robust security framework, along with sound legislative measures to counter terrorism and prevent violent extremism.

She also said that women, as policymakers and lawmakers, have been contributing significantly to counter these two menaces.

According to an official statement issued by the Rajya Sabha today, Singh further added that apart from requisite legislative and administrative measures, it has been the government’s policy to engage in dialogue with disaffected groups within the framework of the Constitution, restore the democratic process, and rehabilitate the extremist cadres, including women cadres, who surrender before the security forces, into the social mainstream.

Speaking on the gendered aspects of counter-terrorism and prevention of violent extremism, she said that emphasis is being laid on increasing the recruitment of women in police and Central Paramilitary Forces deployed in disturbed areas.

The Central Government, in this regard, has also advised the State Governments/Union Territory Administrations to increase the representation of women in police forces to 33% of the total strength.

Darshana Singh further informed that India associates itself with the UN’s Uniformed Gender Parity Strategy and increasingly contributes to the deployment of the UN’s women peacekeepers in various conflict zones worldwide. In 2007, India was the first country to deploy all-women Uniformed Police Units in Liberia.

Highlighting the role of women parliamentarians in counter-terrorism and prevention of violent extremism, Darshana Singh said that women parliamentarians have been playing a significant role during debates and discussions in the Parliament and its Committees on various forms of terrorism and violent extremism across different regions of the country.

She shared their perspectives on the effectiveness of such legislation and advocated for gender-sensitive counter-insurgency strategies. During the recent G20 Summit under India's presidency, the emphasis was on encouraging women-led development and women’s equal and effective participation in addressing global challenges, including all forms of terrorism.

Dharmshila Gupta, another woman RS MP, spoke on the role of parliamentarians in countering terrorism (CT) and preventing and controlling violent extremism (PCVE) during the second session of the conference. During the talk, she said that India has faced various forms of terrorism and insurgency over several decades, with even the Parliament of India not being spared by terrorist attacks.

"The legislative framework of India for CT and PCVE has evolved dynamically per the changing requirements and situations," she said.

She added, "From the enactment of counter-terrorism laws in the past such as the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, and the Prevention of Terrorism Act, to other legislations such as the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), the Anti-Hijacking Act, the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), etc., India has equipped itself with a robust anti-terror legislative framework."

"Parliamentarians, including women parliamentarians, have contributed significantly to the debates and discussions on these legislations in both Houses of Parliament. India has been contributing effectively at various global fora, including the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), to combat terrorist financing," Dharmshila Gupta further added.

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