International Women's Day: Know all about the Constitutional and Legal Rights of Women in India

07 March 2018, 02:59 PM
National Women's Commision - File Photo
National Women's Commision - File Photo

Crime against women occurs every minute in India and across the globe. When we talk about women's safety, they are not safe anywhere whether in the house, public places or at the workplace.

In order to help and ensure that women are safe and justice are done to them, it is pertinent that women are aware of the laws that are in place to protect them. 

The rights available to a woman (ladies) in India can be classified into two categories, namely as constitutional rights and legal rights. The constitutional rights are those which are provided in the various provisions of the constitution. The legal rights, on the other hand, are those which are provided in the various laws (acts) of the Parliament and the State Legislatures.

As a parent, wife, daughter, employee and a woman, these are rights set in place to protect you and it is important that you are aware about these.

Knowledge is power but these rights should not be misused like there have been cases where women's have used the laws meant for their protection against men.

In India, Men’s rights activists scored a significant victory after the Supreme Court essentially identified them as the victims in domestic violence cases. The judges weren’t making the law gender neutral, however. They stated that Indian women were filing inaccurate claims of domestic violence.

Constitutional Rights to Women:The rights and safeguards enshrined in the constitution for women in India are listed below:

1. The state shall not discriminate against any citizen of India on the ground of sex [Article 15(1)].

2.  The state is empowered to make any special provision for women. In other words, this provision enables the state to make affirmative discrimination in favour of women [Article 15(3)].

3.  No citizen shall be discriminated against or be ineligible for any employment or office under the state on the ground of sex [Article 16(2)].

4.  Traffic in human beings and forced labour are prohibited [Article 23(1)].

5. The state to secure for men and women equally the right to an adequate means of livelihood [Article 39(a)].

6. The state to secure equal pay for equal work for both Indian men and women [Article 39(d)].

7. The state is required to ensure that the health and strength of women workers are not abused and that they are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their strength [Article 39(e)]

8. The state shall make provision for securing just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief [Article 42].

9. It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women [Article 51-A(e)].

10. 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)].

11. One-third of the total number of offices of chairpersons in the Panchayats at each level shall be reserved for women [Article 243-D(4)].

12. One-third of the total number of seats to be filled by direct election in every Municipality shall be reserved for women [Article 243-T(3)].

13. The offices of chairpersons in the Municipalities shall be reserved for women in such manner as the State Legislature may provide [Article 243-T(4)].

First Published: Wednesday, March 07, 2018 02:47 PM
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