A Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has noted that the number of women in Indian police forces is abysmally lowat a meagre 10.3 per cent. Headed by Congress leader Anand Sharma, the panel suggested that a proper plan should be implemented to increase womens representation in the police forces to 33 per cent, which is the recommended intake. A key target of this plan, the panel said, should be the establishment of at least one all-women police station in every district of India.The committee is anguished to note that women are abysmally under-represented in the police force as they constitute only 10.3 per cent of the police force, the panel said in its report to the Parliament. The panel recommended that the MHA should immediately advise all states and union territories to speed up the creation of all-women police stations in each district.The committee further added that the appointment of women in police should be done by creating additional posts instead of converting vacant posts of male constables, as this will help improve the police-to-population ratio in India. According to a circular released by the MHA in 2021, this ratio, as of January 2020, was stated as such: police personnel per lakh persons is 195.39 as per sanctioned strength and 155.78 as per actual strength. Clearly, the ratio of actual police strength per lakh Indian civilians is quite low, and adding more women personnel, as recommended by the panel might remedy it.Besides increasing the percentage of women in police, taking a cue from the defence forces where women are being assigned combative roles, the MHA may also advise the states and UTs to give them important challenging duties central to the police, and not just duties of inconsequence, the panels report added. The panel suggested that each police station should have at least three women sub-inspectors and 10 women constables in order to equip round-the-clock functioning of the womens help desk. It also suggested that the Bureau of Police Research Development (BPRD) should be tasked to assess the performance of these womens help desks.It must be noted that the need for greater womens presence has been highlighted time and again by such Parliamentary panels. The reason, as described in a 2019 report by the New Indian Express, is that women police officers have more patience and use less brawns while communicating with the general public, making them very effective on the ground. Further, with crimes against women always on the rise, the presence of more women police officers can help provide a better support system for victims. However, while recruitment policies state 33 per cent of women must be inducted into the police force, the actual intake has been rather low due to a number of reasons. A key reason is the infrastructural deficiencyparticularly the lack of separate toilets and restrooms for women officers. Until these infrastructural issues are sorted, the number of women in Indias police forces cannot go up, despite parliamentary recommendations.