Women's Commission: Journey So Far


Vakiti Sunita Laxma Reddy was appointed Chairperson of Telengana State Women's Commission in January 2021, nearly two and a half years after the post fell vacant. 

 It has been over two years since #WomComMatters was founded as a pressure group for reinstating the Women’s Commission in Telangana. What started off as a small effort by a group of citizens turned into an organized movement of more than 150 volunteers committed to the cause of having a fully functional institution in place. The significance of this Commission lies in not just facilitating grievance redressal but also as an advisory body to frame legislations on women-related issues. 

The journey began with an online petition by the founder Spurthi Kolipaka which received endorsements from Rekha Sharma, the Chairperson of the National Commission for Women and has over 35,000 supporters till date. Soon after, an active discourse began within the incipient WCM group centered on gender sensitization, cultural stereotyping, social conditioning and marginalization. Awareness about the role, mandate and shortcomings of the Women’s Commission as a statutory body was also raised. A citizen-driven movement powered by the hashtag #WomComMatters on social media resounded in the highest echelons of governance including the State Assembly and even reached in writing to the President of India. In a technologically progressive state like Telangana, it was imperative to push for a Women’s Commission website. Not waiting for the government anymore, WCM team designed a user-friendly website coordinating with professional developers working from three different continents and across time zones. 

The website was launched on 1st October 2020 and provides seamless access to important information like district-wise helplines, reports, schemes and laws. It also prominently displays a timer showing the number of days since the TSWC has been inactive. An early RTI by the campaign unearthed that no annual report had been released by the Commission in the past 6 years. Filing RTIs also proved instrumental in maintenance of institutional memory - an idea essential for accountability, transparency, research and improvement. After a series of RTIs, a proper process for documenting and dispersing information may also have been adopted by the Commission. The year 2020 has ended with a huge cause of celebration for us and the state of Telangana, especially its 1.5 crore women, with the appointment of Ms. Sunitha Lakshma Reddy, a former minister, as the chairperson of the Telangana Women’s Commission along with prominent figures as members of the body. After a protracted struggle for over 2 years, a fully functional Women’s Commission was reinstated giving a renewed lease of hope to the women of the state. For a budding citizen-driven movement like WCM, achieving these recent milestones has been extremely encouraging and will give us immense impetus in the direction of our vision for a much different world with a narrative of equality rather than patriarchy, acceptance rather than shame and expression rather than subjugation.

--Danish Zahoor

Women's Commission: Website: http://wdcw.tg.nic.in/tswc/#

Telephone: 040-2754 2017 email: tswomencomission@gmail.com

Image courtesy: Indian Express

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