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12 Police Stud.: Int'l Rev. Police Dev. 97 (1989)
Women in Policing in India

handle is hein.journals/polic12 and id is 107 raw text is: Women in Policing in India
Shamim Aleem, Osmania University, Hyderabad,
India

Abstract
The role of women police in India is examined.
Although women entered the Indian police as
early at 1938, their growth and development
have been slow. For the most part, women were
used as social workers rather than as law en-
forcement officers, dealing mainly with mat-
ters concerning women and children. For the
past few decades there has been an increase in
the number of women joining the Indian Police
Service. While some states are lagging behind,
others have realized the importance of women
in policing and thus there has been a quicker
rise in the number of women in these states.
All over the world, the use of women in polic-
ing has been a slow process. A survey of
women police shows that the stages of develop-
ment, both in the developed and developing
countries, are more or less the same. In all the
countries, initially, there was resistance from
different corners on the entry of women in
policing. Further, every country, in the begin-
ning, used police women as social workers, to
deal with cases of women and juveniles. It was
only in the later stages that women police were
completely integrated into the police force in
developed countries.
In most of the developing countries, the role
of women police is mostly that of a social
worker; while, in developed countries, police
women have received the attention of social
science researchers and law enforcement agen-
cies, in the developing countries she has so far
been completely ignored by them. This has
resulted in the fact that though many coun-
tries of the Third World are involving women
in policing, there is not much information
available about them.
Among the Third World countries, India is
one which is making an effort to involve more
and more women in policing. But it is only a be-
ginning. It has a long way to go to give a better
deal to women in policing.

In India, no comprehensive study of women
in policing has been made so far. My survey of
women police in India, sponsored by the Gov-
ernment of India, is the first attempt in this
direction. As the study is still not completed, I
could not get complete information from all the
States. However, this paper gives an idea of
the direction of the development and growth of
women in policing.
The Need for Women Police in India
Forty-eight percent of India's population con-
sists of women, but the literacy rate is only
24.8% against 46.9% for males. Further, In-
dian women suffer from ignorance, poverty
and continuing discrimination. During the last
few years, a number of laws to give protection
to women have been enacted.' There is no
doubt that these laws do make an attempt to
provide security to women and to raise their
status. But the actual problem is a very com-
plicated one. These laws intend to make a
breakthrough in the traditions, customs, and
accepted values in the society, for which it is
necessary that they should be implemented ef-
fectively. Unfortunately, the law enforcement
agency is neither so strong and effective so as
to be able to fight out against the vested in-
terests, nor is it imaginative enough to take
cognizance of all the intricacies involved in the
implementation of such legislation. The net re-
sult is that in spite of this legislation, and the
hue and cry made by various voluntary organi-
zations in the country, the fate of Indian
women remains more or less the same. The
Committee on the Status of Women (1975) ap-
pointed by the Government of India has given
a detailed picture of Indian women, which is
definitely not a rosy one.
An analysis of the crime situation in the
country reveals that there is a rapid increase in
the number of crimes, especially in the socio-
economic field in which a large number of
women, both as victims of crimes and as crimi-

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