Gender Resource Center

The Gender Resource Center is a Think/do Center within the MP police dedicated to improve police service delivery and outcomes of entire justice sector for mainstreaming access to justice for girls, women, and transgender and address all related issues of subordinations, insecurity, injustices, and rights denials, infliction of crime and criminality and indignities through research, evidence based practices and related innovations. The GRC focuses on issues around gender based violence protection and response mechanisms. The GRC is a part of PARIMAL the Pracademic Action Research Lab of MP police through the DG Research and Policy Cell which in it self is a think and do center for mainstream evidence based practice and policy based police reforms which are grounded in day to day security and justice related citizen service delivery.

The GRC focuses on intersectionality of vulnerabilities and biases and how they transform into abuse and criminality , into rights denials and insecurity and ultimately robbing off agency of women and transgenders , making them vulnerable to rights denials and insecurity.

The GRC works in conjunction with the MP police academy to train and sensitize trainees within their course structure, ensure coordination between state and non-state actors, ensure proper enforcement channels, uptake monitoring, evaluation and learning exercises, conduct need based training and create demand for need based research to ensure proper enforcement of policies and improve investigation method.


Explicit and implicit biases towards any gender or community, including stereotypes about gender roles, sexual assault, and domestic violence, are grossly embedded in our culture and can have a profound affect on people in all different professions. With respect to policing or Judicial system, these biases may affect law enforcement officers’ perceptions of sexual assault and domestic violence incidents and prevent them from effectively handling allegations of these crimes. As first responders to the victims of violence against women and children, the general approach and mindset of the law enforcement agents are particularly important in contributing to fair investigation and in imparting justice to victims of violence on women and children. The findings from a number of research by independent research agencies and organizations have indicated that gender biases and patriarchal mindset largely influence how cases of HT are dealt with especially by the front line staff. It is in this context, that the need for a more sensitive gender response for effective policing emerged out.

Over the years, concern over the prejudices that is routinely displayed in the courts or police stations against women has been challenged by campaigns to raise awareness of its nature and extent and to demand that women be treated as moral equals. Women's organizations have had some success in securing reforms in the law and practice of justice in cases of domestic violence and in rape trials, and in drawing attention to the need for training of police and judiciary so as to create greater sensitivity to women's situations in these cases. Yet a lot remains to be done.

The Recent Initiatives and Practices in Madhya Pradesh

The MP police has been working tirelessly in tandem with other government departments to ensure not only safety and security of women and girls, but also to ensure the rights of individuals are protected, given the backdrop of higher incidences of crime against women. Examples of such governance can be seen through campaigns like Samman, launched by the state Chief Minister, Shri Shivraj Singh Chauhan to create a safer and secure atmosphere which ensures dignity to all women. Other initiatives by MP police also include facilities like helpline numbers to put a stop on cyber attacks, harassment of women online and from stalking. “Mahila desk” has been introduced for special and quick action against women receiving abusive phone calls. One stop crisis center like the Gulmohar center which in collaboration with Sakhi centers of Women and Child Development Depertament has come up as a very viable model of one stop crisis center in district Vidisha meant for women and children. The “Mahila Thanas” are also another important initiative undertaken solely for women complaints in MP and recently these have been scaled upto 52 Mahila Thanas in each district of the state. Similarly, URJA (urgent relief and just action) desks were established to tackle issues of crimes and violence against women from women centric point of view. One of the largest Evidence Based Policing Study adopted into a state wide policy based intervention to improve Women’s Access to Justice is the URJA Help Desk Model started from one district four police stations in Vidisha district of MP as a pilot project called URJA it was scaled upto 12 districts 180 police stations in its second phase and once the evidence of success came up, the help desks were scaled up to 52 districts 700 police stations – making it one of the largest experiments in evidence based police policy and practice applied by MP police in the area of women’s access to justice through police station based and community embedded help desks . This was done by MP Police through its DG Research and Policy Cell and its principle research collaborator the Noble Prize winning think Tank at MIT Massachusetts Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab popularly known as JPAL, with which the MP police DG Research Cell has an MOU for research. This experience has also inspired the MP police to go more specialized in its research and innovation endeavors related to Gender Based Practices and embark upon the idea of the Gender Resource Center. These actions and initiatives have been seen as a progressive step towards bringing crimes against women and children and contributes to combating many overlapping issues like gender discrimination, girl child education, safety of women in public spaces and offices, etc.

Given the backdrop, it is substantial to say that our enforcement agencies need mechanisms to help improve and strengthen an environment for the law to be practiced effectively, keeping gender at the core of their structure. Reforming the current system means demonstrating institutionalization of gender perspective into the judicial and police mechanism. This vision document attempts to provide a holistic understanding for the need to integrate a Gender Resource Institution into the MP police academy and foreseeable action points

Why Gender Resource Centre?

Gender equality lives within the heart of the constitution of India. Article 21 of the Indian Constitution guarantees to everyone the “right to life and personal liberty”, defined widely to mean a life lived with dignity. However, unlike its words, reality is grim and its impact can be measured through incidence of daily occurrence in the lives of women and young girls who become victims of gruesome crimes, harassment, discrimination or neglect

Largely inspired by western feminist movement, the women’s rights movement in the 1960s focused to sought equal rights and opportunity and greater freedom for women in India. Ever since then the movement has come a long way in defining the women's right, right to equal work opportunities, right to a safe workplace environment, right to ownership to property etc. Success of these collective movements would not have been possible without informed legal interventions and simultaneously law being progressively informed by gender justice and women rights.

While the women's rights campaigns were successful in increasing the number and role of women in the police force or judicial system, their impact on women's safety measures remains a huge gap. Formulated under the British raj in 1860, the criminal law in India got informed about women's rights and safety issues only in 1949 when India became a signatory to Universal Declaration to Human Rights (UDHR). Despite Universal Declaration of Human Rights which prohibits any discrimination based on gender, there continues to exist considerable discrimination against women. Rising crimes against women, ever widening gender gap, and our weak performance in gender inequality index, also point out towards the dismal state of being of women in general in India today. Implementation of law continues to be a major gap to the extent leading women’s safety issues jeopardized and need to be strengthened.

A public movement shook the world overnight was the gruesome gangrape of a woman in Delhi in 2012. On one cold December night, when the news broke out of a girl being gangraped in a moving bus, the event took the country by shock and changed the course of women’s safety discourse forever. Immediately a committee was formed in response to the country-wide public outcry of civil society, led by the youth, against the failure of governance to provide a safe and dignified environment for the women of India, who are constantly exposed to sexual violence. Aside from changing attitudinal mindset to correct the aberration of gender bias, the committee also focused on the state machineries for implementing the law to be a significant exercise in combating the issue of violence against women and girls.

The changes made to criminal law after the 2012 Nirbhaya case have not yielded the desired results as the problem lies with implementation to make the law a deterrent making it clear that unless laws are implemented effectively, no progress can be made on the ground. Even till date, civil societies and women groups monitoring the implementation of the law continue to fight the judicial inertia. Till date there continues to be a public outrage to ensure women a right to safe mobility and protection. While laws may be in place, how the law is interpreted and enforced also remains a big question in shaping women's right to safety and dignified environment. Primary manifestation of gender inequality in the judicial system and access to justice, lies in the longstanding and deep rooted discrimination and exclusion of gender from the system. When the law enforcers or justice system is itself discriminating based on one's sexual orientation or gender role, access to justice is compromised. The gap in the implementation of the law not only emerges from lack of gender sensitivity but also lack a professional approach towards the issue within the enforcement agency

Cross-sectoral representation of security and safety as women's human rights issues does not get reflected in other development agencies,for example the Ministry of Urban Development, does not account for women centric design thinking in building smart cities. It is important for urban policies to be guided by women's perspectives, to provide not just a safe environment but a whole ecosystem that places the needs of women and girls at the centre of urban development.

The Gender Resource Centre, aims to bring gender into the forefront of our judicial system and strengthen the enforcement of laws and policies promoting gender justice. The sector needs to move beyond simply training and sensitizing law enforcement officers on gender and women's rights and ensure effective enforcement of these laws and increased professionalism within the law enforcement agencies.It's important to acknowledge here that gender is beyond just women, it also encompasses men and dominant masculinity.

Efforts to promote a gender transformative approach into our judicial system will not only benefit women and girls but also a large number of men and young boys.

The vision document attempts to bring attention towards the need to institute a Gender Resource Center within the Madhya Pradesh Police Academy to ensure greater access to best practices, evidence generated research, evidence informed policy recommendations, greater partnership with local networks and access to related resources to ensure effective enforcement of laws and policies governing gender equality in India.

Vision of the Gender Resource Centre

As the state of Madhya Pradesh along with its network of partners continue to work in their various capacities to overcome challenges of gender equality and justice, the Department of Madhya Pradesh Police Training Academy upholds the constitutional objective to support in the institutionalisation of a Gender Resource Centre in its support to achieve gender equality and justice for all. The newly formed center will work in tandem with the state police department to streamline gender equality and justice and improve enforcement of laws, policies and services.

Madhya Pradesh is a model state to pilot within the Police Academy. Continued engagement over the years have made it possible to address gaps in implementation in MP. Due to access to field practice, MP is a lab for an envisioned growth. Police being a state subject is not seen as a development agency and hence there has not been a strategic investment in the department for any kind of development assistance. This gap has to be addressed within the MP police department. As a practice, Universities Research Institutes and Think Tanks has partnered with the Madhya Pradesh Police training department to help evaluate initiatives of the police and innovations for better policing in the state. This would also include conducting research on welfare of police, role of women police personnel and the victims of crime to tackle crime in an effective and efficient manner. The centre would work in collaboration with leading and renowned institutes and universities across the world.

GRC Mission

To integrate gender narrative into the law enforcement agencies perspective, roles and responsibilities and improve enforcement of the laws and policies promoting gender justice

Recognising women and children at the bottom of the sociological hierarchy, the GRC focuses its issues around gender based violence protection and response mechanisms. The GRC would work in conjunction with the MP police academy to train and sensitize trainees within their course structure, ensure coordination between state and non-state actors, ensure proper enforcement channels, uptake monitoring, evaluation and learning exercises, conduct need based training and create demand for need based research to ensure proper enforcement of policies and improve investigation method.

  1. Capacity building
    • Develop specialised cadre of professionals on gender justice and rights
    • Identify training needs across different levels of governance
    • Develop research tools, training tools and IEC material engaged in enforcement procedures.
    • Invest in need based training methods assessing the gaps and barriers in enabling the enforcement functionaries and policies.
    • Collaborate with other training institute focused on specialised knowledge likewomen's rights, child rights, LGBT rights, etc.
  2. Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning
    • Support in conducting gender focused MEL
    • Invest in need based research focused training methods.
    • Build staff infrastructure to support effectiveness and efficiency of MEL in GRC
    • Facilitate trainees towards evidence based principles for improved governance
    • Collaborate with other institutions like Universities, NGOs, foundations & Govt. bodies to outline best practices
    • Facilitate in planning and implementation of laws and policies in as effective manner as possible
  3. Knowledge hub
    • Facilitate outlining of best practices to enhance police response to the issues concerning women and girls and other vulnerable communities impacted by gender based violence.
    • Update existing information informing best practices related to laws and policies, research and development.
    • Commission research, surveys and documentation on issues relevant to gender justice.
    • Undertake projects to promote inclusion of gender rights and justice
    • Organize seminars, workshops, discussion on various issues supporting gender rights and justice
    • One stop center for all kinds of resources to help improve enforcement procedures.
    • Help set up a budget for GRC.
  4. Promoting Gender rights
    • Drive campaigns using mass media and grassroots network to promote Gender rights and justice
    • Organise public awareness towards gender justice and rights.
    • Advocate for promoting a safer and dignified environment for all through various partnerships at the level of local, national and international stakeholder relations.
    • Disseminate research findings on various platforms to strengthen the objectives of GRC

The JIVA Conferences

JIVA stands for ‘Justice, Inclusion and Victim’s Access’. Anuradha Shankar one of the senior most founding members of GRC has coined this conference title based on her visions of inclusion and justice for addressing all forms of vulnerabilities through Gandhian ideals. The GRC every year works to celebrate the International Women’s Day on the 8th March through a national/international conference on Gender Justice and Women’s Security by interagency consultative groups and stakeholders involved in Security for women and children. The JIVA focuses on intersectionality of vulnerabilities and biases and how they transform into abuse and criminality , into rights denials and insecurity and ultimately robbing off agency of women and transgenders , making them vulnerable to rights denials and insecurity. Started since 2021 every year this day is celebrated as a culmination of yearlong activities of the Gender Resource Center and a begging of five days workshop and consultative meets on Women’s Security, Human Rights and Gender Justice Issues. This conference goes through online and offline modes with prominent thinkers, practitioners and academics joining in for a focused deliberation and action planning for women’s security and gender justice mainstreaming

JIVA 2021 poster is given below

Last Updated:19 Dec, 2021