Women Safety and Policy Impact

Over 29 million women are considered victims of modern-day slavery. Globally, an estimated 736 million women—almost one in three—have been subjected to intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or both at least once in their life (30 percent of women aged 15 and older). This figure does not include sexual harassment. In management language, it is safe to say that as per Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the global female population still struggles with the bottom two; physiological and safety needs.

At Meradesh, our team of data scientists and researchers explored the issue of safety within the Indian context. To start with we gathered data on the lines of states that were preparing for the 2020 assembly election; Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and Assam. Our attempt was to understand the relationship between the registered numbers of Violence Against Women cases (VAW) and the presence of female cops. Along with that, we tried to comprehend the impact leader’s gender might play in prioritizing women-focused policies.

The results were pretty fascinating. Two trends emerged from the visuals.

First compared to the five state leaders, the gender of the leader did seem to matter. During West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha’s tenure priority was given to increasing the number of female police personnel.

Second, the year 2012 seemed to have provided a huge impetus to the number of female cops. Across the four states, the year acts as the base year for either sustaining earlier numbers or of rapid increase. 2012 was the year when the Nirbhaya case rattled the nation.