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Gender Justice: The Question Of Gender Equality Under The Indian Constitution

Indian society still needs to cover a long distance to make our society gender-equal. People need to change their thinking rather mindset and demolish all the customs and practices, which showcase woman as less than men in the society. Gender-based discrimination can be most effectively checked across India, while women are not deprived of the risk of their study and overall development.

Girls like boys should get a good start in terms of lifestyle instructional opportunities. This would help them in achieving financial independence and support them to be properly prepared to contribute closer to themselves and their upliftment of the society. Male or female, everyone should start their life in terms of education and other opportunities. For this, we need to unite as a society with the aim of giving equal rights, opportunities and justice.[1]

To what extent does equality of women exist in the Constitution of India?

The question of gender equality has been remained entangled for decades and continues to be a very old and burning issue. The constitution declares equal treatment for women, grants the state the right to adopt measures proactively to protect the rights of women, and empowers the state with affirmative rights in respect to the women.[2] Part-III of the constitution, which assures fundamental rights of men and women in particular Articles 14,15 and 16 of Part-III.[3]

The constitution, for its part, go on to enshrine and intricate on the concept of equality, specifically non-discrimination under pinning these rights. Furthermore, a few constitutional amendments contain clauses that refer to women. For example, the 42nd amendment to the constitution, which includes a clause that refers to women. It is advised that every citizen of India should refrain from practices that are contrary to the dignity of women.

The National Human Rights Commission is an ineffective setup for the improvement of women's rights:

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), a statutory body, has the attention of individuals and groups who want to watch for and make complaints about human rights violations. The NHRC has explicitly stated that women's right will be a part of its concerns. Although, women's rights have not received a significant amount of attention. The NHRC's ability to function without the government's intervention and to be considered an autonomous body is still not clear.

Amendment Made in Law to Lift up Status & Access of Women in Society:

Women's insecurities and low levels of education and training, poor health and nutritional status, and limited access to resources lead to women's inequalities of life and their progressive subjugation. Regional perspectives play a very substantial role in the realm of gender equality.[4]

Amendment in Indian Penal Code and introduction of section 304-B or 498-A or even in case of important amendments IPC on custodial deaths and even in Indian Evidence Act are not sufficient enough to check increasing domestic cruelty and violence. In order to better empower women, legal literacy and awareness programs must be developed and evolved. What we want today is evidence of a visible absence of gender bias in all decision making.[5]

Effective Steps Required for Human Equality:

Public policy can contribute, directly and indirectly to reduce gender inequalities for example; legislating or standardizing the legal and regulatory framework so to ensure equal opportunities. Ensuring microeconomic stability and improving microeconomic incentives.

At the grass-roots, women may be organized into self-help groups at the local or Anganwadi level. These women's groups should be helped to institutionalize themselves into registered societies and to federate at the town level. Such societies should bring about synergistic implementation of all the social and economic development programs by drawing resources made available through government and non-government channels, including banks and financial institutions and by establishing a close interface with the Panchayats and Municipalities.

Commitment of resources for women in key sectors relating to education, violation training, employment and income generation health all support service, gender sensitization programs and information dissemination. Fixing up responsibilities for implementation of action points.

Set-up Administrative Bodies for Women Equality:

India's search for an organizational structure is co-ordinate efforts towards gender equality and gender equity began with the establishment of the Central Social Welfare Board in 1953. By 1985, the newly established ministry of human resources development had set-up a department of women and child development.

There has been subsequent growth of many new institutions to interact with and add on to the existing network. Amongst these, one of the most significant is the setting up of the National Commission for women by an act of parliament in 1990. The 73rd and 74th constitutional Amendments Acts 1993 constitute a watershed for the advancement of Indian women.

They ensure 1\3rd of the total elected seats a position of chairpersons in rural and urban local elected bodies of women. About one million women are estimated to emerge as leaders at the grass-roots levels in the rural areas alone of these 75,000 are to be chairpersons.

Suggestive Measures in Administrative of Laws for Human Equality:

A few measures for administration of laws can be taken including some changes in the provisions of substantial penal and evidentiary nature. Some suggestive measures are as follow: To introduce a law relating to domestic violence. For better investigation and inquiry into the cases of unnatural deaths, the concerns Act 1871, as operative in Bombay, may be made applicable in other areas.

This may enable an independent authority with judicial powers to probe into the cause of an unnatural death. More female police personnel should be inducted so as to be available in situations relating to the unnatural death of women.[6] Compulsory and free education up to middle school standards for all girls and prohibition of labour of the girl child up to the age of sixteen.

Women continue to be in marginal employments and low levels of skills, their contribution being largely invisible. Being largely relegated to the inside sphere is the prevailing social construction of gender. Making women equal partners in the national development process and equipping them to informed choice in order to equalize their self-worth through empowerments are such goals to which the government must be committed.

There is a long way to go, but the endeavour must be ceaseless. The disparity and inequality on account of regional perspectives must be seriously examined, analysed and then controlled by appropriate plans and programs.

  1. Thithiksha Padman, Gender Justice in India, Juris Centre, 25 June 2021.
  2. Himangshu Ranjan Nath, Gender Justice in India: A Critical Appraisal, Journal of Judicial and Social Science, Vol 5, No 3, 30 Aug 2015.
  3. Articles 14,15 and 16 of the Indian Constitution of India, 1950
  4. Honey Singh, Role of Judiciary in maintaining a gender just world, VIDHIGYA: The journal of Legal Awareness, Vol 15, Issue 1 and 2, 19 April 2022.
  5. N. Nivedhaa and R. Dhivya, The Constitutional Status of Women in India, International Journal of Pure and Applied Mathematics, Vol 120, No 5 2018.
  6. Meenal Maheshwari, Gender Justice and Inequality in India, Pen Acclaims, Vol 2, July 2018.
Written By: Abhishek Nenuji, 2nd Year Student, B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) - Institute of Law, Nirma University

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