The Department of Women and Child Development, Government of India, came into existence as a separate Ministry with effect from 30th January, 2006, earlier since 1985 it was a Department under the Ministry of Human Resources Development. The Ministry was constituted with the prime intention of addressing gaps in State action for women and children for promoting inter-Ministerial and inter-sectoral convergence to create gender equitable and child-centred legislation, policies and programmes. It endeavors to: impowered women living with dignity and contributing as equal partners in development in an environment free from violence and discrimination. And, wellnurtured children with full opportunities for growth and development in a safe and protective environment.
The broad mandate of the Ministry is to have holistic development of Women and Children. As a nodal Ministry for the advancement of women and children, the Ministry formulates plans, policies and programmes; enacts/ amends legislation, guides and coordinates the efforts of both governmental and non-governmental organisations working in the field of Women and Child Development. Besides, playing its nodal role, the Ministry implements certain innovative programmes for women and children. These programmes cover welfare and support services, training for employment and income generation, awareness generation and gender sensitization. These programmes play a supplementary and complementary role to the other general developmental programmes in the sectors of health, education, rural development etc. All these efforts are directed to ensure that women are empowered both economically and socially and thus become equal partners in national development along with men.