After two and a half years, the Telangana government appointed Vakiti Sunitha Lakshma Reddy as the chairperson of the Women’s Commission on Sunday. The government has also appointed 6 new members including Shaheena Afroze, Kumar Eshwari Bai, Kommu Umadevi Yadav, Gaddala Padma, Sudham Laxmi and Katari Revathi Rao. The term of the chairperson and members will be for a period of 5 years from the date on which they assume office.
Chairperson Sunitha Lakshma Reddy was formerly the minister for women and child welfare in the Andhra Pradesh government. She was also elected as Congress Party MLA from Narsapur Assembly Constituency. She was elected as MLA three times from the same constituency. On 3 April 2019, she joined the ruling TRS party in Medak parliamentary constituency. This shows that Sunitha Lakshma Reddy is well-versed in government policy-making.
The Women’s commission had been without a chairperson since 2018.
Previously, Tripurana Venkataratnam was the head of the women’s commission and she left office after the end of her term in 2018. After that, the Telangana government had shown no interest in appointing a new chief for the women commission. Several women activists and the National Commission for Women criticized the government for delaying the appointment. Because no action was taken by the government for a long time, a social activist R Ramya Rao filed A PIL in the Telangana High Court calling for the appointment of a chairman to the women’s Commission. The high court on December 2 asked the Telangana government to appoint the Chairperson for the State Women’s Commission before December 31.The court also warned that if the appointment gets delayed further, the Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar will be summoned to explain any further delays.
Finally, the Telangana women’s Commission has got a new chairperson after 2.5 years.
The Telangana women’s Commission is constituted to improve the status of women and to protect them against any ill-treatment.
The main objectives of the women’s Commission are:
- To monitor the laws for equality and fair treatment of women.
- To monitor the recruitment and promotions made in State and Public Sector firms and to ensure that equal opportunities are guaranteed to women.
- To inspect women’s jails, hostels, homes, shelter homes, etc.
- To recommend the Government about welfare measures to be adopted for women, and so on.
- To take follow up on complaints of harassment received from women.
- To initiate action against those who perpetrate crime against women.