Rights of Women: Liberty of Independence that every Woman wants

Dalima Poojari

Social and economic status of women

The role of women in a nation is unchallenged. And hence their authorization of paramount significance in the society. The situation of women in India has experienced great changes in recent centuries. In independent of India, women participate in all spheres of life – knowledge, learning, culture, sports, politics, and in other areas. Women in India have embellished powerful offices. However, despite this, it has to be allowed that a vast crowd of women still controls a life of poverty and subjugation.

Ambitions of women, their yearning to achieve success in life, achievement of education, political and social movement advocating rights of women, and most significantly, changes in the community have progressively brought about an advancement in the status of women in the society. Enabling legal, affirmative actions, and judiciary interpretations have tried to tackle the aberrations and improve the standards of living of women. Therefore, law and justice are probably the most significant means by which the advancement of women in society has been accomplished.

Since independence, women-centric legislations, Constitutional provisions, policies, and practices, social welfare initiatives, (that seek to enhance the socio-economic situation of women in India), have authorized women and provided them safety against unfairness and offenses committed against them.

The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 prohibits polygynous marriages and makes special rules for divorce. The Hindu Succession Act of 1956 grants property rights to the daughters. The Law of Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 states for the maintenance of minor children, and poor parents, wife, widows with special attention on women. Several social welfare schemes, policies, and accesses have also been taken to decrease inequalities between men and women.

Incidents of Ferocity against Women

Women have continuously been victims of physical and sexual abuse and ferocity. Every day in newspapers and news channels we read about such circumstances. These actions are committed typically because women are examined the weaker sex. Inequality exists in all spheres of life. Indian society is a patriarchic one, where men are examined the head of the family who controls women and affairs of family. Earlier customs like Sati, child marriages troubled the country until they were prohibited and legislation enacted. Rape is the most predominant crime women undergo nowadays.

Honor killings, female infanticide and feticide, dowry deaths, witch-craft related murders, domestic violence, marital rape, and throwing of acid largely make up the types of brutality women face in today’s society. The internalized misogamy which prevails among us is the reason why women looked down upon and are disrespected. They are not given their fair distribution of resources, like access to schooling from a young age and taught to conform to the gender standards of society.

For example, dowry cases are hardly reported. Both parties’ sanction to it. The bride’s father is forced to accept this due to his economic situation and so-called inferior social position (as the woman’s father). Therefore, dowry is a common tradition. In spite of a strong hindrance in the form of section 498A of IPC (brutality against married women), many of the culprits of dowry deaths are not penalized. Frequent out of judicial settlements take place. The victim’s father often concurs to close the case in return of money which he feels is the fair option as it will help him to marry off his other daughter.

Likewise, most marital rapes and domestic abuse cases are not stated, though these also constitute brutality against women. The legal regulation which does not consider forced sexual relations by the husband with his wife above the age of 15 years as rape, also applies against women. Domestic abuse cases are also not stated as women are financially dependent on their husbands and would face their rage if they displease them by going to the police.

Married women stay in offensive marriages because divorce as a custom is scowled upon by society and economic adversities outweigh other deliberations. Women are not trained to be independent and are always anticipated to function based on the wishes of their male counterparts. Lack of social practices and education and customs which consider women inferior to men require to be properly discussed. Until it is done, fierceness against women will be hard to contain. (Patel, 2020)

Women Education and Media

The achievement of any right to education is dependent on the accessibility of that education. In conformity with general international basic rights, there can be no discernment in the provision of education. It’s deemed as significant for both girls and boys. There are many elements implicit in a discourse of the accessibility of education including cost, language, geography, and the availability of training and learning recourse. Furthermore, education is not solely the privilege of the young. International civil liberties law demands a fundamental level of education for all this could place states under a responsibility to extend educational establishments to adults including females searching to obtain basic learning and elementary skills.

Employment and education are interconnected. Many educated women have better employment position. The female work involvement in India rises from 19.7 percent in 1981 and 24.7 percent in 2001. As in education there are a broader regional difference among major states, in employment also. Despite increase in work contribution rate there has not been much change in working terms. Besides, majority of women in India are in unorganized sector, or low paid work or in part time employment. Women’s earnings along with household chores which is still overdue has both advantages and disadvantages. In case a woman has command over her earnings she is authorized but her response to domestic needs leads to more continued exploitation and stress. The overall number of women employed in the government sector has enhanced to 51 percent in 2006 from 47.7 percent in 1998 while the overall number of men employed dropped from 228.72 lakh to 233.92 lakh in 1998. Women in the services sector has been rising. Younger women are being employed in intellectual and powerful sector

Female education is key to success. Without proper education, ignorance can breed disregard. In such conditions, the right to an education to women becomes more essential. Women education also acts as a hindrance on states and may assist for limit future violation of rights and freedoms. (ishitachatterjee)

Special Rights that every Indian Woman should know

  1. Women have the      right to equal wages

According to the provender’s recorded under the Equal Remuneration Act, one cannot be differentiated on the causes of sex when it comes to pay, wages or salary. Working women have the right to make an equal salary, in comparison to men.

  1. Women have the right      to morality and dignity

In an event that the defendant is a woman, any health examination procedure on her must be conducted by -- or in the sight of -- another woman.

  1. Women have the right against      place of work molestation

The Sexual Intimidation of Women at Workplace Act gives a woman the right to file a complaint against any kind of sexual intimidation at her place of work. Under this act, she can provide a genuine complaint to an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) at a field office during a period of 3 months.

  1. Women have a right against      domestic abuse

Section 498 of the Indian Constitution states to protect a woman, female cohabiting partner or a woman living in a household purposes like a sister from a domestic abuse or mother (comprising economic, unwritten, emotional, etc.) by the hands of a husband, male cohabiting partner or relatives. The defendant shall be penalized with a non-bailable imprisonment for a period which may increase to three years and shall also be prone to fine.

  1. Women sexual abuse victims have      the right to keep their identity unknown

To assure that her privacy is protected, a female who has been sexually abused may record her declaration alone before the district court judge when the case is under tribulation, or in the presence of a woman police officer.

  1. Women have the right to get      liberty legal assistance

Under the Legal Services Authorities Act, woman rape victims have the right to get liberty legal assistance or support from the Legal Services Authority who has to organize a lawyer for her.

  1. Women have the right not to be      apprehended at night

Unless there is a special case on the instructions of a first-class magistrate, a female cannot be arrested before sunrise and after sunset. In addition, the ordinance also says that the police can interrogate a female at her residence only in the presence of a  female constable and family members or friends.

  1. Women have the right to file      virtual complaint

The law gives females the provision for registering virtual complaints via e-mail, and writing her accusations and sending it to a police stations from a documented postal address. Moreover, the station house officer sends a police constable to her location to record her complaint. This is in matter a woman is not in a situation to substantially go to a police station and register a complaint.

  1. Women have the right against      improper depiction

Characterization of a woman's figure (her structure or any body part) in any way that is improper, derogatory, or is likely to debase, corrupt or damage the public morality or principles, is a punishable act.

  1. Females have the right against      being chased

Section 354D of the IPC makes way for judicial proceedings to be taken against a perpetrator if he/she follows a woman, trying to contacting her to encourage personal interaction over and over again despite a clear indication of detachment; or monitor the use by a female of the internet, email or any other kind of electronic communication.

  1. Women have a right to zero fir

A first information report that can be registered at any police station irrespective of the place where the incident happened or a specific jurisdiction it comes under, the zero FIR can later be moved to the police station in whose authority the case falls under. This judgement was approved by the Supreme Court to save the victim's duration and prevent a perpetrator from getting away with impunity. (Desk, 2016)

Reservation of seats for Females in Municipalities and Panchayats

Article 243 D (3) and Article 243 T (3) allow for reservation of not less than one third of overall number of seats in municipalities and panchayats for females to be allotted by rotation to different electorates.

Article 243 D (4) T (4) allows that not less than one third of the overall number of officers of chairman in the municipalities and panchayats at all the stages to be reserved for women.

Voting Rights/ Election legislation

● Not less than one-third seats must be reserved for females. Such seats may be allocated by rotation to various electorates in a panchayat.

● The office of the chairman in the panchayat at the rural areas or any another level shall be reserved for SCs, STs and females in such a manner as the legislative assembly of state may, by act provides.

● Reservation of seats for females in municipalities is granted

To endorse the Constitutional mandate, the state has legislated various legal provisions intended to ensure equal rights, to counter caste-based discrimination and various kinds of abuse and atrocities and to allow support services specially to working females. Although, women may be victims of any of the offenses for example ‘Murder’, ‘Robbery’, ‘Deception’ etc. The offenses, which are directed specially against women, are marked as ‘Crime against Women’. (vikaspedia)

Here are a few Privileges and Legislations that every woman should be aware of

1. Equal Remuneration Act, 1976

This act contains for the payment of equal wages to men and women workers. Its objectives to prevent unfairness on the grounds of sex against women in issues of employment and employment possibilities. In ‘The Gender Gap Index in 2020’ report, India’s ranking has deteriorated to the 112th position. The statement says it will take India 100 years to close the gap in sections such as politics, economy, health and education. The act contains women the ability to fight against unfairness with respect to enlistment processes, promotions, transfers, professional education, etc.

  1. Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961

The Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961 states that taking or giving dowry at the time of wedding to the bride or the bridegroom and their family is an unlawful act. The dowry system has been in subsistence for many years. Criminalizing the act has reduced the illustrations of the family of groom asking for dowry. If there is any matter of brutality from her in-laws asking for dowry, it can be registered under Section 304B and 498A of IPC.

Unfortunately, the difficulty still exists in large areas of India, where women are still tormented, harassed, and beaten for not listening the demands of more dowry. The prohibition of divorce in Indian society has caused in women enduring the mistreat instead of facing it.

  1. Women Protection from Domestic      Violence Act, 2005

It was legislated to protect women from domestic abuse. The act contains not only physical abuse, but other kinds for example emotional, verbal, sexual, and economic violence. The act is mainly meant to protect the wife or the female cohabitate partner from domestic abuse. Based on the matter, the magistrate can pass the following instructions: protection orders, residence instructions, direct the respondent to pay financial relief and custody instructions if there is a child engaged, and compensation for bruises.

  1. Sexual Harassment of Women at      place of work (Interdiction, Prevention and Compensation) Act, 2013

This piece of legislation is to protect women from sexual harassment at their place of work, be it public or private places. Any place of work with more than 10 employees is presumed to implementation of this. It is believed that the act will enhance the conditions of work for women and how they are addressed. This law replaced the Vishaka Guidelines for Prevention of Sexual Harassment (POSH) Act presented by the Supreme Court of India. This act was acquired from the Vishaka Guidelines after the high-profile case ‘Vishaka and others vs. State of Rajasthan’.

Women will be able to combat for their rights only when they are known about this. No matter where an injustice is imposed on a woman – place of work, home or in society - legal remedies available.

Conclusion

Subsequent to the year 2013 that observed the announcement of the Criminal Law Amendment Act and the POSH Act, there have been many other changes in law that have been for the social welfare, security and advantage of women as well as with the objective to eliminate gender-based discernment, one of the rudiments of the Constitution of India. As we have seen the Supreme Court, has taken number of initiatives and in some matters issued directions to the administration as well, but it is the concrete implementation of these legislations that is needed to ensure equal rights for women.

There are a great many challenges that many Indian women face, which include female feticides, poverty, sexual harassment, low level of education, job skills training. India still places 108th among 149 countries in the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Gender Gap Index, 2018. A lot need to be done to assure that Indian women have equal rights and equal opportunities we see an India accentuated by inclusive citizenship rather than exclusive.

References

Desk, I. T. (2016, March). 11 exclusive rights for women every Indian needs to know. Retrieved from https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/gk-current-affairs/story/11-women-rights-india-312263-2016-03-08.

ishitachatterjee. (n.d.). Women Education And Media.Retrieved from http://www.legalservicesindia.com/article/955/Women-Education-and-Media.html.

Patel, M. (2020, December). Historical and political journey of women laws/gender laws. Retrieved from https://blog.ipleaders.in/historical-and-political-journey-of-women-laws-gender-laws/.

vikaspedia. (n.d.). Women and the Indian Constitution.Retrieved from https://vikaspedia.in/social-welfare/women-and-child-development/women-development-1/legal-awareness-for-women/women-and-the-indian-constitution.