In twentieth century, from every nook and corner of the world, there was a demand for gender equality. India, too, in 1948 tried to remove all discriminations on the basis of caste, region or gender through its newly framed Constitution and gave equal rights to men and women. For the development and empowerment of women many programmes and policies were formulated. Efforts are also made for their implementation.

United Nations Organization declared 1975 as the International Womens Year. Since then 8 March is celebrated as International Women’s Day. For empowerment of women, UNO declared 1976-85 as the Women’s Decade.

CEDAW (Convention on Elimination of Discrimination against Women), signed in 1979, is a very important International Treaty, which ensures women’s empowerment. But India signed this treaty with some amendments on 9 July, 1993. CEDAW, not only prevents gender discrimination, but also compels those nations, who have signed the treaty, to prevent discrimination against women in social, cultural and political fields.

India, too, felt that the implementation of the Constitutional rights provided to women was slow, and there was a rise in cases of violence against women. To curb this, and in consonance to International efforts for womens empowerment, National Policy for Women was declared in 1996. In this background, for the development of women and to prevent violence against them, National Commission for Women and State Commissions for Women were constituted.

Rajasthan is a state historically known for its valiant womenfolk. However, in todays context due to patriarchy feudal mindset & customary laws, it fails to present a healthy, vibrant picture as far as the status of its women is concerned. Its cultural traditions and epic tales of valor are living legends, yet women here lead a backward existence.

The Population of Rajasthan according to the 2011 census stands at about 686 million, making it the 8th most populated state in India. The state makes up about 5.6 of the countrys population a figure which was about 5.4% during the last census in 2001. The state is spread over an area of about 340000 sq. km. making it the largest state in the country in terms of area.. The state has a growth rate of about 21% percent which is the 11th highest growth rate in the country. The population of the state is rising considerably due to rapid efforts towards development and progress.. The sex ratio in Rajasthan also leaves a lot to be desired as it lags behind the national average by 10 points

According to the census figure, Rajasthan has 926 women to every 1000 men and Child Sex Ratio is (CSR) 888:1000 with marked area wise discrepancies. Girls and women in Rajasthan suffer grossly from poor health, illiteracy, social discrimination, suppression, poverty and paucity of resources

To pull the marginalized female population into the mainstream is one of the basic aims with which the Rajasthan State Women’s Commission has been established.

→ Redress the grievances of the suffering women across the State of Rajasthan

→ the interests of women across the State

→ Review prevailing laws concerning women and to request the government to make amendments for women to get justice.

→ Recommend remedial legislative measures

→ Advise the Government of Rajasthan on all Policy matters affecting women

Functions of the Commission

Section 11 of the Rajasthan State Women Commission Act, 1999, elaborates the functions of the Commission, but in short, these are as follows:

→ To investigate and analyze all unjustified acts committed against women and to request the government to take action.

→ To take steps to make the existing laws more effective and ensure their implementation.

→ To review existing laws and recommend amendments.

→ To prevent any discrimination against women in state public services and state public enterprises.

→ To take steps to alleviate the condition of women by suggesting practical welfare schemes, appealing to the government to provide equal opportunities

→ Appealing to the government to take strict action against any public servant found by the commission to be working against the interests of women.

→ To submit Annual/ Special Reports to Govt with its recommendation

Powers of Commission

The Commission under the Act has

10(1) the powers of a Civil Court , while trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure,1908 (Central Act 5 of 1908). Under Sections 10,11,12 1nd 13 of Rajasthan State Women’s Commission Act, 1999, the Commission has the following powers:

10(1) a. Summoning and enforcing the attendance of any witness and examining him/her.

10(1)b Requiring the discovery and production of any document

10(1)c Receiving evidence on affidavits

10(1)d Requisitioning any public records or copy thereof from any public office

10(1)e Issuing commissions or summons for the examination of witnesses

10(2) :- The Commission will be deemed as a Civil Court and when any offence as is described in section 175, section 178, section 179, section 180,or section 228 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860(Central Act 45 of 1860)is committed in the view or presence of the Commission, the Commission may after recording the facts constituting the offence and the statement of the accused as provided for in The Indian Penal Code,1860(Central Act 45 of 1860) or The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973(Central Act 2 of 1974) forward the case to a Magistrate having jurisdiction to try the same and the Magistrate to whom any such case is forwarded shall proceed to hear the complaint against the accused as if the case has been forwarded to him under section 346 of The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973(Central Act 2 of 1974).

10(3). Every proceeding before the Commission shall be deemed as judicial proceeding within the meaning of sections 193 and228, and for the purposes of section 196 of The Indian Penal Code, 1860(Central Act 45 of 1860) and the Commission shall be deemed to be a Civil Court for all the purposes of of section 195 and Chapter XXVIof The Criminal Procedure, 1973(Central Act 2 of 1974).