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If you need to know the culture, empowerment and social prosperity of a country or a society or a nation you just look into the state of the women over there. If the nation or society gives considerable amount of respect and rights to the women, then we can say the nation is progressed and having a tremendous amount of culture. India is a country where we need to think about the same. India is a country where women are worshipped as goddess and at the same time being raped even inside a worship place. How the people of the India treat women varies from person to person but surely, we can say that, the legal system and its framework gives tremendous number of rights and protection to the women. Through this blog let us look into the 15 important rights for women that all women need to know. Being a small deviation from the literal heading its not just women need to know, but every man also needs to know that.
Constitution of India is the fundamental law of the land. It is the concrete framework of the legal system, political system and the rights and liabilities of the people. The Indian constitution is the largest written constitution in the world and not only the largest but also the most complex constitutions in the world. The constitution guarantees women a certain right. The fundamental rights Article 14-18 says about the Right to Equality. Among that Article 15 talks about the Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth. This article clearly says that no discrimination is allowed on the basis of the gender or sex itself. But Article 15 (3) gives an exception to this,
Article 15(3) says that: Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for women and children.
Thus, itself is a guaranteed fundamental right to the women. They are given an exception in Article 15 for formulating special provisions for them. This is the first right or the basis of all important rights enjoyed by the women.
Apart from the fundamental right, the fundamental duties specified in the Part IV A of the Indian constitution also gives a special emphasis to the women. Article 51A (e) gives a special duty to every citizen to respect the dignity of the women.
Article 51A(e) says that: to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women;
Right against Arrest of a Woman at Night
The Criminal Procedure Code or rather we call simply call it as the CrPC is the official law regarding the criminal procedures. The CrPC envisages the procedure for arresting and its mode etc. The Criminal Procedure amendment act of 2005 Section 6 mandates that no women shall be arrested before sunrise and after sunset except unavoidable circumstances. The arrest of a women at night can be sone only at unavoidable circumstances. In order to arrest a woman at night due to unavoidable circumstances, as per section 46(4) of CrPC, the arrest should be made after seeking the permission of the Magistrate and the arrest should be made by a lady police officer too. This right is guaranteed on every woman in order to prevent the exploitation of women by the police at night.
Right against Domestic Violence.
There is a special law which is of penal nature has been enacted to protect the women from their relatives regarding the physical abuse, sexual abuse, verbal or emotional abuse, financial or economic abuse etc. The major purpose of this act are as follows:
- In order to identify the women who are being subjected to the domestic violence.
- Wide the ambit of the domestic violence into all the aspects of it, all the persons related to her.
- To provide punishment to the offender
- Provide the relief to the aggrieved in terms of compensation, shelter homes, protection officers, etc.
- This is a comprehensive measure to eradicate the social evil of domestic violence of women.
Right against Dowry through Dowry Prohibition Act
Dowry is a social evil which gives only an economic aspect to a marriage or a relationship. Most often women are being the victims or aggrieved of this. In order to eradicate the social evil of dowry and punishes the offenders of practicing the dowry, the parliament has passed a legislation called the Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961. We cannot say that this is an exclusive right or act for women since the term defines dowry as the gifting of any party to the marriage or their relatives. Either it can be bride or groom. The holistic approach is included just because to include all forms of dowry like bride money etc. But in most of the cases, the aggrieved will be the women only. So, in fact it can be considered as right or protection against women. The major highlights of the dowry prohibition act are as follows:
- It prohibits the practice of dowry
- It includes and prohibits all practice of dowry irrespective of the gender.
- It punishes the offender who seeks or give dowry as defined in the dowry prohibition act.
Dowry Death: A strict liability or the shifting of Onus of proof
This is one of the special privilege or right enjoyed by the women in the legal justice framework of India. The Indian criminal jurisprudence is based on the principle that, let the 1000 guilty be acquitted but no innocent should be convicted. The meaning of the phrase is that, if we couldn’t punish the 1000 wrong doers it fine but make sure we are not punishing an innocent person. Since the Indian criminal jurisprudence system is based on this paraphrase, there will be presumption when the trial of a criminal case starts. The presumption is that, the accused (wrong doer/ arrested person) is innocent before the law. The duty to prove he has committed the offence will fall upon the prosecutor (advocate of the state in criminal matter). So, it’s very hard to prove that he has committed the offence beyond the doubt. But in case of dowry death, the presumption and the ideology of the criminal justice system changes. The trail of the criminal case will start by presuming that the accused has done the offence. It is the duty of the arrested person/accused to prove the innocence of him before the court. A strict shift of paradigm in the legal system is given to protect the women and eradicate the dowry death.
Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act.
This is one of the major acts which gave a considerable impact to the society and the work environment of the women. This act prevents the sexual harassment at workplaces. There is an important case history which give away to the enactment of this act. The public interest litigation filed by an NGO called Vishaka at supreme court regarding the fundamental right infringement of a Dalit government employee who had been brutally gang raped in front of her husband and justice were denied at the criminal court. This incident demanded the newer formulation of guidelines for the protection of the women at workplace. The supreme court there by in this case of Vishaka V State of Rajasthan promulgated in 1997 a set of guidelines called Vishaka Guidelines for the protection of women at workplaces. The central government in 2013 enacted this act called Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act which superseded all the guidelines in Vishaka v State of Rajasthan. This is an important right guaranteed for women.
The Indian Penal Code – Rights and Protection
The Indian Penal Code (IPC) is the comprehensive and primary penal framework of India. It is substantial law which defines what is crime and what all are its punishments. In IPC there are a lot crimes defined just for protecting the right of the women. The list of the crimes which has been enacted to protect the rights of the women are as follows:
Rape: The sexual intercourse without the consent of the women
Outraging the modest of the women: This provision penalises the use of criminal force with an intention to outrage the modest of the women.
Sexual harassment; The unwelcoming physical contact or request or demand of sexual favours.
Voyeurism: It is the act of any man who watches or capture any image of women who engaging in her private act.
Stalking: Follows a woman or contact her without her interest.
Dowry death: Making her suicide, or dead in the name of dowry is punishable. Cruelty will be exercised in the name of dowry to the women in these kinds of cases.
Acid Attack: Among other crimes, this crime is not only defined against women but also any person but most of the time it is administered against the women. Acid attack is defined as the administration acid to the body of any other person.
The women are provided with an immense level of protection. These kinds of laws are enacted for the protection of the women only not for the exploitation by the women. Some of the cases are reporting as an exploitation of the said act by the woman itself. All women need to know about the rights they have and all men need to know about the duty have also. Then only this right and duty balances will conjoin into its complete form. Make these important rights as your notes for your competitive examinations. If you couldn’t make any substantial mark in competitive examination imbibe these rights in your life to protest for your right and knowing your duty. Keep studying Keep winning.