Legal Provisions for The Protection Of Women

    India has a huge number of crimes in the past few years, especially against women. Women are not secure anywhere whether it is in their houses, public places or at the workplace, etc. Even, in this era, one of the major concerns is to safeguard and protection of women.  Consistently, there is a rise in violence against women. As we live in a democratic country where women were considered a symbol of spirituality in our scriptures but, they are treated unequally. In Indian society, women were still viewed as the husband’s property. Women suffered from evils in early ages like Dowry, Sati -System, Child marriage, domestic violence, acid attacks, etc. Acid attacks & Rape is turning very common in our country. 

    Recently brutal gang rape and murder of an 8 years old girl Asif Bano [1], in Rasana village near Kathua in Jammu. Even, domestic violence and honor killings are very common. The women remain in a toxic relationship due to fear of society. Due to regressive thinking, people kill daughters before they are born. Violence against women in India is a very huge and serious social issue that happens because of social ills or her economic dependence. Violence against women happens due to inefficient legal justice systems, weak rules of law, and male-dominated social and political structures. Crimes against women becoming a barrier to the growth of the country. There is no chance for the welfare of the country unless and until women’s situation is enhanced.  Now, its high time to improve the safety of women in every sphere like Schools, workplaces, etc. Along with this, there should be changed in the mindset of people.

    Indian women are battling for equality and the acknowledgment in a general public which despite everything hails men at the pinnacle of social hierarchy. This Government of India has taken steps to promote women empowerment by various schemes and Acts, which not just improves the economic wellbeing but also as a solution of different social plights like maternal mortality, female foeticide. Some of the schemes are -:

    The Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Scheme was launched on 22nd Jan 2015 whose objective was to improve and make awareness about the welfare services for girls and ensure survival and provide education to them.

    The Pradhan Mantri Mahila Shakti Kendra Scheme was launched in 2017 to empower rural women through community participation in which involvement of student volunteers for the empowerment of the women. This scheme saves a girl child and provides primary and secondary education. 

    Rajiv Gandhi Nation Creche Scheme launched in 2012 and modify in 2016 has two targets. The government provides a nursery for the care and protection of small children in the working hour of their mothers. Also, through this scheme, the Government energizes the working and financial support for women with a greater sense of independence.

    Pradhan Mantri Mantru Vandana Yojna was first launched in 2010 as Indira Gandhi Matriva Sahyog Yojna was then renamed as Matriva Sahyog Yojna in 2014 and finally, Pradhan Mantri Mantru Vandana Yojna in 2017. Its objective is to ensure safe delivery and healthy nutrition for mothers. Also, give incentives to improved health and give nutrition to pregnant women. 

    The National Mission for Empowerment of Women is a scheme launched by the Government of India. It ensures the economic empowerment of women with an emphasis on wellbeing and education. 

    The Maternity Benefit Program is launched to give compensation to pregnant women and provides institution service utilization during the period of pregnancy. 

    And there are many more schemes which the Government of India has made for women.

    LEGAL RIGHTS OF WOMEN

    We live in a world where goddesses are worshipped and women get tamed, harassed, abused, raped every day. To control all these things the Government of India has made some Acts these are –

    • PROTECTION OF WOMEN FROM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACT, 2005

    It was the Act of Parliament of India and came into force on 26th Oct 2006. This Act provides us the definition of “domestic violence” and includes not only physical violence but also emotional, verbal, sexual, and economic abuse. Harassment of dowry demands from the women and her relatives would come under this. 

    • IMMORAL TRAFFIC (PREVENTION) ACT, 1956 

    This Act is the legislation for the prevention of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation. It prevents trafficking in women and girls for the purpose of prostitution. 

    • DOWRY PROHIBITION ACT, 1961 

    This Act was enacted on May 1, 1961, to avert the giving and receiving of a dowry. If any person gives or takes or abets the giving or taking of dowry, he will be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to six months and fine which may extend to five thousand rupees or both.

    • MEDICAL TERMINATION OF PREGNANCY ACT, 1971

    It is an Act of Parliament that gives safe abortion to women.  This Act helps in protecting the interest of both the pregnant women and the unborn fetus when the situation arises for ensuring medical termination of pregnancy under certain circumstances.  The aim is to improve health conditions by preventing a large number of unsafe abortions.

    • EQUAL REMUNERATION ACT, 1976

    This Act provides payment of equal remuneration to men and women on a uniform basis. To avoid discrimination against women and treat the women in a fair and just manner this Act came into force. Also, it prevents discrimination against women in the workplace.

    • COMMISSION OF SATI (PREVENTION) ACT, 1987

     This Act prevents Sati, the practice of forced or alive burning of a widow, and to prohibit the glorification of women. 

    • PRECONCEPTION AND PRENATAL DIAGNOSTIC TECHNIQUES (PROHIBITION OF SEX SELECTION) ACT, 1994

    It is an Act of Parliament of India to prevent sex determination before or after conception.   No one should communicate the sex of the fetus to the pregnant person or any other one by words, signs, or any other method. If any person found doing, he /she will be imprisoned for three years and fine of Rs.10,000.

    • SEXUAL HARRASSMENT OF WOMEN AT WORKPLACE (PREVENTION PROHIBITION AND REDRESSAL) ACT, 2013 

    This Act protect women from sexual harassment at their workplace. The security of women in the workplace will help us to improve women’s participation in work resulting in economic empowerment and growth of women. This case was derived from Vishakha guidelines [2].  Those guidelines are –

    I. Meaning and definition of sexual harassment. It defines sexual harassment as an unwanted sexual determination which is directly or impliedly intended to cause –

    • Physical contact or advances 
    • A demand or request for sexual favors
    • Sexually colored remarks.
    • Showing pornography
    • Any other unwelcome conduct whether it is physical, verbal or non-verbal.

    II. Provide proper working environment

    III. Duty of the employer to file a complaint

    IV. Complaint redressal committee

    V. Employer to assist the employee if she is sexually harassed

    VI. Duty of employer to spread awareness

    VII. Duty of Government to widen the scope of guidelines.

    • SPECIAL MARRIAGE ACT, 1954

    The objective of this act is to provide registration of special forms of marriage. In a nation like India where there are a diverse religion and caste and people of various faiths and caste choose to get married, they can do it under this Act. 

    •  HINDU SUCCESSION ACT, 1956 

    It is an Act of parliament of India to codify the laws relating to unwilled succession.

    If a Hindu female had possession of any property then she has absolute right over the property and she can dispose of it by her will.

    • INDECENT REPRESENTATION OF WOMEN (PREVENTION) ACT,1986

    This Act prevents indecent representation of women through advertisement or in publication, writings, paintings, figures, or in another manner.

    • NATIONAL COMMISSION FOR WOMEN ACT, 1990 

    It is the statutory body of the Government of India. The main function is to make recommendations and monitor the reforms by making research and study of gender equality, women empowerment, and existing laws relating to women. Aims to improve the status of women and worked for their economic empowerment.

    CONCLUSION

    Now, there was a great change for women in every field. Now, Women are recognizing their potential. They started questioning the rules laid down for them. Women have break barriers for them and earned a respectable position in the world. Now a day Indian woman has reached in each and every field. There was no area that remains unoccupied by women. Whether it is politics, sports, entertainment, literature, etc.  The Government has launched many schemes for the empowerment of women. Even, India has also ratified various international conventions like the Convention on Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against women in1993 to secure equal rights to women. Many seats were reserved in Parliament to encourage women participation. The government makes some changes in Laws for the betterment of women such as –

    Supreme Court has declared triple-talaq [3] invalid and unconstitutional as it violates the fundamental rights of Muslim women as it irrevocably ends the marriage and it was against the basic tenets of the Quran. If the husband pronounces triple- talaq whether spoken, written, or electronic or in any way can be punished with a fine and three years jail. An arrest can be made without warrant and bail is given at the discretion of the magistrate.

    Plea Bargain: Overview And Challenges

    The government of India has imposed strict regulations on the sale of acid in 2013. Dealers can sell the acid only if the buyer provides a valid identity proof and tell the need to purchase. It is mandatory for the dealer to submit the details of the sale within 3 days to the police. It also made it illegal to sell acid to a person below the age of 18 [4].

    Endnotes

    1.  10 Jan 2018
    2.  Visakha and Others vs State of Rajasthan SC 1997
    3.  Shayara Bano vs Union of India And Ors 22 Aug 2017
    4.  Laxmi vs Union of India 2014 SC 4 427

    Shambhavi Sinha | Banasthali Vidyapith, Jaipur

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