"I have recently asked the state home department to issue weapon licenses to girls and women, who are eligible, according to the rules," Ms Chitnis told PTI.
"Girls and women rarely apply for weapon license," she added.
"Job opportunities for women have increased a lot now. (But) These opportunities have thrown up challenges for them," the minister said, adding "so now they have be prepared to face these challenges."
"After getting the driving license, these girls will be driving at odd hours too. So the girls, if they apply, should get the weapon license on a priority basis," said the minister.
Madhya Pradesh has acquired a dubious distinction of accounting for the highest 4,882 out of the 38,947 rape cases registered in the country in 2016, as per the National Crime Record Bureau's data. The state had recorded the highest number of rape cases in the country (4,391) in 2015 too.