Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], May 22 (ANI):Women have become equal stakeholders in all fields in ‘Naya Jammu and Kashmir.’
They are no longer regarded as second fiddles or inferior to males in any way.
After the Centre declared its decision to revoke J&K’s so-called special status and divide it into two Union Territories on August 5, 2019, the women have had a multitude of possibilities to prove their mettle.
Women have emerged as successful administrators, police officers, entrepreneurs, and sports stars in the last two and a half years. There was no turning back.
The women have been assigned to crucial roles in administration, law enforcement, and business. The women have benefited from J-transition K’s into a Union Territory. The rising stars of women have brought to the fore the importance of their role in developing a healthy society.
It’s not just about the men. Despite the fact that the J-K women’s police wing was created in 1965, there were few women police stations in J-K until August 5, 2019. Separate women police stations were established in the districts of Udhampur, Rajouri, Kathua Doda, Anantnag, Baramulla, Pulwama, and Kupwara after J-K was reformed.
Prior to this, J&K had only two female police stations, one in Srinagar and another in Jammu.
J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha announced 15% reservation for women in non-gazetted posts in the J&K Police in January of this year.
The decision emphasised the government’s commitment to strengthening women in all aspects of life, tackling social, economic, and long-standing injustices in order to construct a more just land resilient society.
The decision was made to ensure that women were properly represented in the police force and that there were enough women officers to deal only with gender-based offences.
Women officers hold important jobs as well. Women IPS officers, like as Sheema Nabi Qasba, Sargun Shukla, Lakshya Sharma, Mohita Sharma, and others, hold prominent positions in the J-K Police. Avny Lavasa, Syed Sehrish Asgar, and Kritika Jyotsna of the Indian Administrative Service have been appointed as Deputy Commissioners of Jammu, Baramulla, and Udhampur, respectively.
Administration and law enforcement in J-K are no longer just concerned with men. Women are in positions of power and have equal obligations. Professor Nilofer Khan was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the University for the first time in J-K history. Kashmir, the highest seat of learning in the Valley.
When Mehbooba Mufti became Chief Minister of the former J-K State in 2016, she assured women that they would no longer be disregarded and would be given their fair share. However, as J-first K’s female Chief Minister, she couldn’t do much for her colleagues due to limits that were only known to her.
During her reign, few women held major roles in the administration or the police force. She made a few announcements, such as waiving the registration fee if a property is purchased in the name of a woman and launching a ladies’ bus service in Jammu and Srinagar, but these were merely cosmetic measures.
J-K women had high hopes for Mehbooba, but she fell short of their expectations. Between 2016 and 2018, the Centre gave all conceivable help to the government led by her. Many officially supported women-oriented projects were submitted to J&K, but they were unable to be executed due to a lack of political will.
4.5 lakh women benefited from the recent developments. As a result of the change in the status quo in J&K, as many as 4.5 lakh women have gained financial independence through the Self Help Groups initiative.
Training and financial aid are provided to women to help them improve their entrepreneurial abilities through programmes such as Hausla, Umeed, Saath, Digipay Sakhi, Krishi, and Sakhi.
Women’s empowerment in J&K does not exist solely on
. That line has been crossed. Former political administrations made lofty statements about women being prioritised, but these claims were really lip service.
The initiatives aimed at assisting women gathered dust in the official archives.
In a nutshell, the old rulers’ priorities did not include women’s emancipation. In Jammu and Kashmir, gender discrimination has been prevalent since 1947.
However, after August 5, 2019, women’s life improved in numerous ways. More girls in J-K are attending school, finding better jobs, and gaining legal rights and protections.
The politicians that ruled J&K never focused on eliminating gender inequalities through solid regulations. They appear to have been unaware that growing gender inequity impacts the entire generation.
Furthermore, gender discrimination had little effect on women.
Despite facing gender discrimination for seventy years, women in J&K were second in the country in performing quite satisfactorily in any area of activity ranging from household management to teaching and learning to practise medicine, law, and other technical and non-technical professions, police, army, aviation, civil services, and the like.
The Centre had done its homework well before J-K was reorganised. Surveys conducted previous to the complete integration of J&K into the Union of India revealed that none of the Himalayan dispensations explored the potential of women.
However, the situation has altered. The government has set a target of at least assuring 33% representation of women in all fields, with the ultimate goal of achieving a 50-50 gender ratio. In all departments where women work, the emphasis is on providing gender-sensitive work infrastructure as well as better housing and medical facilities.
Women in J-K are encouraged to participate in security force recruitment drives as well as the competitive exams for gazetted and non-gazetted posts.
Women, too, avoid societal taboos. The women in ‘Naya J-K’ are breaking social norms by wearing police uniforms and combat costumes, and they are competing for a frontal role in every profession.
Women are now district police chiefs, deputy commissioners, and the head of the Valley’s main learning institution, the University of Kashmir.
The repeal of Article 370, a temporary provision in the Indian Constitution, has opened up a new world for women in Jammu and Kashmir. For them, the sky seemed to be the limit.