New National Policy for Women unveiled

The policy has been put up on the ministry website for recommendations

New National Policy for Women unveiled

Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi on Tuesday unveiled the draft National Policy for Women 2016, which focuses on issues related to single women, housing and cyber crime against women.

The policy has been put up on the ministry website for public to send in their recommendations.

The new policy will enable the government to recognise single women - "divorced, widowed and unmarried women" - as independent entities.

Noting the last national policy on women was formulated was in 2001, Gandhi said: "This policy has come after 15 years... The attitude of women towards themselves has changed.

"15 years ago, women were happy to get what they were given. Now we demand... and our demands are more defined."

The draft policy says maternal and prenatal mortality remains a key priority, but also focuses on issues like "gender transformative health strategy", which recognises women's reproductive rights with a shift. The draft, as an example, cited shifting the focus of family planning from female sterilization to male sterilization.

It also calls for ushering in changes in the societal attitude towards women and usher in behavioural changes involving men and boys and institutions of family and women's organisations.