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Women’s Rights

"Human rights are women's rights and women's rights are human rights, once and for all." - Hillary Clinton


There is a wide range of rights granted to the citizens of India. They are privileged with certain rights by the supreme law of our land i.e.; Constitution of India & also by the other acts, of which the people have very vague information. Recently the Supreme Court has given few judgements where the transgender is categorized as the third gender & the LGBTQ community finally got the right for which they were fighting from ages. Similarly, there are certain rights guaranteed to the women’s. Since years the women in our society were considered as a weaker section & have tolerated a lot of discrimination or social inequality such as Child marriage, Practise of Sati or be it in field of education where females were generally indulged in the household activities & only the male member of the family was educated.


Therefore to bring about equality in the society the Constitution of India gave us Art.14 which promotes Equality. Slowly & gradually some of the issues got resolved & few are still in progress. The gender issue is a worldwide issue hence after the Adoption of Universal Declaration the Commission on Human Rights began drafting two human rights treaties, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Both these Covenants use the same wording to prohibit discrimination based on, inter alia, ‘Sex’ (Art. 2), as well as to ensure the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of all rights contained in them (Art. 3).


The former Covenant guarantees the right to life, freedom from torture, freedom from slavery, the right to liberty & security of the person, rights relating to due process in criminal and legal proceedings, equality before the law, freedom of movement, freedom of thought, conscience & religion, freedom of association, rights relating to family life and children, etc. While the latter provides the right to work, the right to form trade unions, rights relating to marriage, the right to an adequate standard of living, the right to health, the right to education, and rights relating to culture and science. There are many other declarations which is based on the rights of women. Few are listed below:

  1. Article 39(A) of the Constitution of India grants equal pay to women & men at the workplace.

  2. Section 498 A of IPC, 1860 protects a wife living in a household from any subjected cruelty by her husband or relatives of husband and punish such individuals with imprisonment for a term extending to three years & fine.

  3. Legal Services Authorities Act provides female rape victims with the right to free legal aid.

  4. Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986 offers to women the right against indecent representation which is a punishable offence.

  5. Section 354 D of IPC 1860, provides to all women the right against being stalked.

  6. According to Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2013 women’s have the right to zero FIR that can be filed at any police station irrespective of location & jurisdiction of the incident, the zero FIR can later move to the police station in respective jurisdiction as the case falls.

  7. Section 46(4) of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973 [CRPC] states that a women offender cannot be arrested before sunrise & after sunset. Even If women offender is arrested between 6 P.M to 6 A.M same has to be executed only by women officers.

  8. In accordance with Section 51 of CrPC, if a female is required to be searched, the search shall be made by another female with strict regard to decency.

  9. Under Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act 2005, both son & daughter have an equal right to inheritance.

  10. According to Maternity benefit act, 1961 a company cannot fire a pregnant woman. It is an punishable offence with a maximum of 3 years of imprisonment.

The legal system of India is citizen-friendly. You just need to be aware of your rights to protect & promote yourself.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Anuja Tripathy is currently studying in K.I.I.T. school of law, Bhubaneswar, Odisha. You can contact her at https://www.linkedin.com/in/anuja-tripathy-300322173/

Editor: Jayant Upadhyay

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