Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi on Monday said the draft National Policy for Women (NPW), which aims to ensure health, food security and nutrition to women, is awaiting nod by the PMO, but her Ministry could still implement it in phases."Even though the draft is yet to be approved, we have taken up points which can be implemented by us; elements of the NPW are already under process," Rakesh Srivastava, Secretary, WCD said at a ministry press conference.Asked about the status of NPW, Gandhi said that the draft is "with PMO at the moment". "The policy is a very forward-looking document. We had 11 meetings of the Group of Ministers (GoM) and everybody added in as much as they could do," she said.The WCD had earlier in an innovative step sought recommendation from the public on the document and included some of the suggestions in the draft."Without any comment from my side, I made a list of every single suggestion sent to us and then circulated amongst the 11 ministers.
They simply had to tick mark what they liked and disliked and then we took into consideration the ones with maximum likes and took them onboard," the Minister added.The National Policy for Women was being revised after 15 years and is expected to guide the government's action on women's issues over the next 15-20 years.The priority areas under the new draft are health, food security and nutrition, education, governance and decision making, violence against women, enabling environment and climate change.According to the Ministry, the broad objective of the policy is to create a conducive socio-cultural, economic and political environment to enable women to enjoy de jure and de facto fundamental rights and realize their full potential.The Minister had earlier stated that several things have changed since the last policy of 2001, especially women's attitude towards themselves and their expectations from life, and therefore the new policy has been drafted to ensure equal rights and opportunities for women.