NCW member Rekha Sharma, who recently stoked a controversy by suggesting abolition of confessions in churches, has been appointed as the chairperson of the National Commission for Women.

Sharma, 54, was earlier a member of the Commission and was holding the additional charge of chairperson after Lalitha Kumaramangalam demitted office in September last year. She belongs to Haryana 

As a member of the Commission, she visited and inspected a number of psychiatric institutions, custodial homes throughout the country and interacted with women admitted in these institutions, the NCW said in a statement.

Reacting to her appointment, Sharma said, "It is with a great honour, respect and sense of duty that I take up the charge of Chairperson, National Commission for Women".

"The National Commission for Women will stay true to its mission of upholding women's constitutional and legal rights and facilitating redressal of their grievances," she added.

Sharma was recently embroiled in a controversy after she recommended abolishing the practice of "confessions" in churches as it can lead to blackmailing of women, after such a case came to light in Kerala.

The government had distanced itself over her proposal to abolish the practice of confessions with junior union minister Alphons Kannanthanam, who hails from Kerala, saying the "Centre has no connection with the stand taken by Sharma".