If one were to go by the track record of the UPA government, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s twin slogan to have 25% women in police force and establish 2000 women police stations might end being a pipe dream.
The women workforce in police during the UPA government grew meagerly from 4% in 2004 to 6.6% in 2012. This even as crimes against women spiraled during the period UPA was in power. This is for civil police and district armed police. The track record in regard to establishment of women police stations is also pretty dismal. As of 2012 records furnished by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) 10 states and Union Territories have no police stations. This includes Congress ruled states like Maharashtra, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram.
As of 2012 India had in all 510 women police stations up from 293 in 2004.The number of women run police stations during 2004-2012 (UPA regime) grew approximately by 8%. This means that it will take about another 18 years to reach the dream figure of 2000 women police stations promised by Rahul Gandhi. The UPA achieved the highest share of women in police force during at 6.6% during 2012.
Maintaining the 6.6% all throughout during 2004 -2012 too was tough for UPA. While the actual share of women in the police force was recorded at 4% during 2004, it dipped to 3.8% in 2005. The share of women in police force again rose to 5% in 2008 and fell to 0.8% during 2010 and 2011.
As a matter of irony, UPA could not bring major rise in women’s share in police force despite a comprehensive advisory issued by the centre on September 4, 2009 to all state governments to step up measures for the safety and security of women and control of crime against them. The advisory emphasizes on increasing the representation of women in police at all levels through affirmative action so that women constitute about 33% of the police.
Likewise, the representation of women in the Central police forces on the gender question is also low. Women personnel and officers constituted a mere two% of the more than two lakh troopers recruited by paramilitary forces in the last three years and in the initial few months of 2013. While 20,73,48 personnel were recruited in various ranks in the CRPF, the BSF, the ITBP, the SSB, the CISF, Assam Rifles and so on between 2010 and 2013, the number of women among them was a mere 4,733.
As a matter of fact the low participation of women in Civil Police forces, District Armed Police forces and Central police forces is not just an issue for India, but the crisis has stretched across South Asia. According to a 2011-2012 report by UN women across South Asia, women make up less than 5% of the police.