We the Indians live with a mindset of worshipping the goddesses, where on the other hand women are discouraged for taking any legal action against taming, harassing, abusing, raping, or kidnapping. The chance of a woman being raped in India is 1 in every 4. Encountering these cases everyday Indian government has equipped an Indian woman with some rights which act as a weapon in disguise.
Employees’ State Insurance Act (1948), Plantation Labour Act (1951), Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act (1976), Legal Practitioners (Women) Act (1923), Indian Succession Act (1925), Indian Divorce Act (1869), Parse Marriage and Divorce Act (1936), Special Marriage Act (1954), Foreign Marriage Act (1969), Indian Evidence Act (1872), Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act (1956) are some of the acts which have legal rights entrusted to Indian women.
Below stated are some rights of an Indian woman (with their sources stated in italics):-
1:- One can’t be discriminated on the basis of sex when it comes to salary, pay or wages. Women are entitled to get equal wages as men for performing equal work. (Equal Remuneration Act), (Article 39(d))
2:- The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace gives a female the right to file a complaint against any kind of sexual harassment at her place of work. (Workplace Act)
3:- Section 498 gives a woman the right against domestic violence (including verbal, economic, emotional and sexual) by the hands of a husband, male live-in partner or relatives. (Section 498 of IPC)
4:- Female rape victims have the right to get free legal aid from any Legal Services Authority who has to also arrange a lawyer for her. (Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987)
5:- Women have the provision of filing virtual complaints via e-mail or by writing the complaint and sending it to a police station from a registered postal address. Further, the SHO sends a police constable at her place to record her complaint in case she’s not in a position to physically go to a police station and file a complaint.
6:- Legal action can be taken against an offender if he/she follows a woman, tries to contact her to foster personal interaction repeatedly despite a clear indication of disinterest; or monitor the woman by the use of internet, email or any other form social media platform. (Section 354D of the IPC)
7:- A FIR can be filed at any police station irrespective of the location where the incident occurred or a specific jurisdiction it comes under ( Zero FIR) .
8:- The state authorities are required to ensure the health and strength of women. (Article 39(e))
9:- One-third of the total number of seats to be filled by direct election in every Panchayat shall be reserved for women (Article 243-D(3))
10:- Giving or taking of dowry at or before or any time after the marriage from women is strictly prohibited. (Dowry Prohibition Act (1961)
11:- The employment of women in certain establishments for certain period before and after child-birth is relieved and the maternity benefits along with certain other benefits are provided. (Maternity Benefit Act (1961))
12:- There are certain safeguards for women like obligation of a person to maintain his wife, arrest of woman by female police and so on. (Code of Criminal Procedure (1973))
13:- It is the right of any woman to inherit parental property equally with men. (Hindu Succession Act (1956))
I would like to take my hands off the keyboard with a hope that the above stated laws are able to help at least one woman or are able to save at least one woman from getting harassed. Stay happy, Stay safe.
This post is written by a very young budding writer Shreya Jindal who is set to make a small-little difference in this world through her writing using this medium. Stay tuned to have more quirky reads from her in our future posts.
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