Making a strong pitch to bring in gender equality in police force, Woman & Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi has asked Centre to fill in at least one third of police vacancies with women.

In a letter to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Maneka said 33 per cent reservation for women in the police force is required so as to improve the “overall sensitivity of police towards crimes against women. Maneka’s letter comes days after the Supreme Court’s direction to state to recruit 5 lakh personnels in the police force.

Underlining that Centre has mandated such a reservation in all Union Territories and even seven states agreed with this proposal in-principle, she said that the recruitment is yet to “pick up”.

According to Bureau of Police Research and Development, the total strength of policewomen across all states in January 2017 stood at Rs 1.2 lakh, comprising only 7% of total police force. The data itself exposes the extreme gender inquality in our system.

“With the Supreme Court pushing for filling the vacant posts in the police force, I see an opportunity where we can make this happen… At this stage, if we can direct that at least 1/3rd of these vacancies should be filled up with women, we can greatly enhance the percentage of women in the force,” the Indian Express quoted from the letter.

Interestingly, 1/3rd of the current vacancy of 5 lakh which is around 1.81 lakh has to be filled in Uttar Pradesh.

Earlier in August 2014, Maneka had written to all state chief minister for implementation of reservation policy in states.