BANGALORE: The Karnataka Legislative Committee on Women and Child Welfare has recommended that the government increase the number of its women employees to 33 per cent from the current 28 per cent.
Though the state had introduced job reservation for women in 1996, they constitute only 19.48 per cent in Group A employees, 22.40 per cent in Group B, 30.39 per cent in Group C and 23.83 per cent in Group D. The 12-member committee, headed now by MLA Shakunthala Shetty, tabled its 27th report in both the Houses on Friday. It recommended that the government advertise the vacancies three times if there are no suitable women candidates for various posts. It also asked the government to direct all departments to recruit eligible candidates with disabilities.
The committee, which also looked into the grievances of artists, urged film producers to ensure police security and transport for women artistes, increase their monthly pension from Rs 1,000 to Rs 4,000, allocate houses or sites at subsidised rates, offer loans from various development corporations and provide basic facilities to artistes working in Kanteerava Studios. Highlighting the pathetic condition of workers in garment industries, it directed the Labour Department to take steps to create awareness on the labour rights of women.
The committee asked the government to formulate a law to protect the socio-economic interests of surrogate mothers and to save them from exploitation. It observed that there is an increase in advertisements from hospitals and illegal clinics which cater to the needs of childless couples and urged the government to set up an accreditation authority to regulate the assisted reproductive services offered by private medical institutions.
The committee said there is no legislation in force in the country to protect surrogate mothers. Pointing out that there is a huge demand from abroad for Indian surrogate mothers as surrogacy is a costly and complicated affair in foreign countries, the committee said India may become a medical tourism destination in future.
Surrogacy has turned into a business and is being controlled by touts, the committee observed and said Health and Family Welfare Department should ensure that poor women offering themselves as surrogate mothers are not exploited.
Women-friendly Police Stations
The committee, which discussed with senior police officials the increase in crimes against women, urged the state government to ensure that a women-friendly atmosphere is created in police stations across the state. It also recommended 20 per cent women staff in police stations, separate toilets for women and CCTVs. There is also a need to take up awareness campaigns to prevent crimes against women.
Ban Mobile Phones
The committee recommended that the Department of Education ban students from using mobile phones in education institutions.
Compensation for Rape Victims
The state government has revised the compensation amount for rape victims. According to official sources, the compensation amount has been increased from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 3 lakh to loss of life, if the victim is 40 years of age or below. If the victim is between the age group of 40 and 60 years, the compensation amount has been increased from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh and from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh if the victim is above 60 years of age.
In case of death of a victim, expenses incurred for actual medical treatment, before death, up to a maximum of Rs 25,000 and a minimum of Rs 20,000 may be given as funeral expenses to the next of kin of the victim.
The state government had stated that it had designated 10 civil courts as special courts to conduct trial on rape cases across the state and conduct in-camera proceedings.