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Brief history

The National Commission for Women was set up as statutory body in January 1992 under the National Commission for Women Act, 1990 (Act No.20 of 1990 of Govt.of India) to review the Constitutional and legal safeguards for women; recommend remedial legislative measures, facilitate redressal of grievances and advise the Government on all policy matters affecting women.

A Brief History

The Committee on the Status of Women in India (CSWI) recommended nearly two decades ago, the setting up of a National Commission for women to fulfill the surveillance functions to facilitate redressal of grievances and to accelerate the socio-economic development of women.

  1. Successive Committees/Commissions/Plans including the National Perspective Plan for Women (1988-2000) recommended the constitution of an apex body for women.
  2. During 1990, the central government held consultations with NGOs, social workers and experts, regarding the structure, functions, powers etc. of the Commission proposed to be set up.
  3. In May 1990, the Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha.
  4. In July 1990, the HRD Ministry organized a National Level Conference to elicit suggestions regarding the Bill. In August 1990 the government moved several amendments and introduced new provisions to vest the commission with the power of a civil court.
  5. The Bill was passed and received accent of the President on 30th August 1990.

The First Commission was constituted on January 31, 1992, with Ms. Jayanti Patnaik as the Chairperson. The Second Commission was constituted in July 1995, with Dr. Mohini Giri as the Chairperson. The Third Commission was constituted in January 1999, with Ms. Vibha Parthasarathy as the Chairperson. The Fourth Commission was constituted in January 2002, with  Dr. Poornima Advani as the Chairperson. The Fifth Commission was constituted in February 2005, with Dr. Girija Vyas as the Chairperson. The Sixth Commission was constituted in August 2011, with Ms. Mamta Sharma as the Chairperson. The Seventh Commission was constituted in 2014, with Ms. Lalitha Kumaramanglam as Chairperson. The current Commission was constituted in August 2018, with Ms. Rekha Sharma as the Chairperson.