New Delhi: Speaking to NewsX in an exclusive interview, Union Cabinet Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi addressed the sensitive issue of female foeticide in India, safety for women, and the government’s effort to assimilate more women in all sectors of the society.

Maneka Gandhi said that in two years of the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) coming to power, lot of changes had been made which were not just superficial. Gandhi claimed that female foeticide was in important issue in the country and that to eradicate female foeticide, traditional practices and conceptions like dowry, the perception of women easily being susceptible to danger, and the belief that women are a burden to the family need to be removed completely.

“There were 830 girls to every 1000 boys in Haryana when we came to power, after we implemented the changes, the number of women rose to 907,” claimed Maneka.

On social media harassment of women and of her controversial remark on marital rape in India, Maneka said that the cyber cell machinery – which she claimed was not very good – was gradually working towards effectively tracing these individuals online. “We have started working with NASSCOM which will gradually pave the way for straight identification,” said the minister.

“Marital rape is considered a crime in India,” said Maneka, and she reiterated that marital rape comes under the 2005 law of domestic violence against women. “But it is up for the women to decide whether they want to complain under marital rape or not,” stated Gandhi, who said that women were hesitant about complaining to police for fear of her marriage being dissolved. “The husband might have had a bad day at work and he must have felt he needed to show his frustration towards someone who he considers weaker,” said Gandhi.

Gandhi said that she was proud of the fact that 33% women now constituted the Indian police force which would ensure that there is an increased safety for women. Maneka said that the panic button app will soon be introduced in the market for free as soon as the app has been tested.


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