Thiruvananthapuram: The Left Democratic Front government is expected to mark its first anniversary with the formation of a department for women. A committee formed by the government for the purpose has submitted its report.
The next cabinet meeting is expected to take up the report submitted by Former Social Welfare Department director V.N. Jithendran.
The 100-page report includes comprehensive recommendations to ensure the safety of women and to prevent crimes against women.
The report does not make any recommendation to put the department under the exclusive care of a minister or that minister being a woman. However, leaders of the ruling alliance are in favor of the appointment of a minister in charge of the department considering its importance.
A separate department for women was one of the key promises in the election manifesto of the Left Democratic Front. Projects and institutions related to women and children are currently within the purview of the Social Justice Department.
Jithendran’s report recommends that the new department should be responsible for implementing laws related to the prevention of dowry, domestic abuse, harassment at workplace, child abuse and child marriage.
The new department will also be in charge of rolling out various welfare schemes related to women and children. Another responsibility would be the programs related to women’s safety.
The commission has recommended the setting up of special centers in each district for rehabilitating abuse victims and providing them with legal support and security. The new department should see to it that the centers had all the necessary facilities.
The Kerala Women’s Commission, the Kerala State Women’s Development Corporation and related institutions should be brought under the management of the new department. Currently, they are under the Social Justice Department.
The new department is estimated to have about 150 staff. The required employees would be mostly drawn from other departments. New vacancies may be created as and when needed.