Why National Commission for Women ?
The National Commission for Women was set up as statutory body in January 1992 under the National Commission for Women Act, 1990 ( Act No. 20 of 1990 of Govt.of India) to review the Constitutional and legal safeguards for women; recommend remedial legislative measures, facilitate redressal of grievances and advise the Government on all policy matters affecting women.
The Committee on the Status of Women in India ( CSWI ) recommended nearly two decades ago, the setting up of a National Commission for women to fulfill the surveillance functions to facilitate redressal of grievances and to accelerate the socio-economic development of women.
Successive Committees / Commissions / Plans including the National Perspective Plan for Women (1988-2000) recommended the constitution of an apex body for women.
During 1990, the central government held consultations with NGOs, social workers and experts, regarding the structure, functions, powers etc.of the Commission proposed to be set up.
In May 1990, the Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha.
In July 1990, the HRD Ministry organized a National Level Conference to elicit suggestions regarding the Bill. In August 1990 the government moved several amendments and introduced new provisions to vest the commission with the power of a civil court.
The Bill was passed and received accent of the President on 30th August 1990.
The First Commission was constituted on 31st January 1992 with Mrs. Jayanti Patnaik as the Chairperson. The Second Commission was constituted on July 1995 with Dr. (Mrs.) Mohini Giri as the Chairperson. The Third Commission was constituted on January 1999 with Mrs. Vibha Parthasarathy as the Chairperson. The Fourth Commission was constituted on January 2002 and the government had nominated Dr. Poornima Advani as the Chairperson. The Fifth Commission was constituted on February 2005 Dr. Girija Vyas as the Chairperson. The sixth Commission was constituted on August 2011 with Mrs. Mamta Sharma as the Chairperson. The seventh commission has been constituted in 2014 with Ms. Lalitha Kumaramanglam as Chairperson.
Ms. Lalitha Kumaramangalam
Ms. Lalitha Kumaramangalam took over as the Chairperson of the National Commission for Women w.e.f. 29th September, 2014. Belonging to an illustrious political family, comprising Governor, Cabinet Ministers, Army General and Members of Parliament, Ms. Kumaramangalam is a prominent political leader in her own right, who has been working relentlessly for decades for the empowerment and advancement of women belonging to the vulnerable and under-privileged sections of society. She has worked on issues dealing with healthcare, HIV/AIDS prevention and worked with dis- empowered communities like truckers, sex-workers, the LGBT community, migrant and construction workers, SHGs and urban slum women.
Her varied experiences as a political and social activist will help to provide dynamic leadership to the cause of women’s empowerment.
Extensively travelled in India and abroad, Ms. Kumaramangalam holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from the Madras University and graduated with honours in Economics from St. Stephens College, Delhi. A versatile linguist, she can converse fluently in Hindi, English, Tamil and Bengali.