Women do not need to be polite to someone who is making them feel uncomfortable.
You know, what I mean right?
If this is being read by a female, I'm probably hitting my goal. In India, it is
seen that women are not much aware of their rights and that continues to remain
recessive in society. Only an aware person can well discern between just and
unjust and this article would surely help you become just.
In India, there is no paucity of laws for women. Our Constitution provides
exclusive rights to women for their protection and development. Furthermore, IPC,
CrPC and Evidence Act are also active when it comes to women and their
protection. We have some special laws as well for effective implementation of
the rights of women against abuse, Harassment, violence, inequality etc. against
them such as the Protection of Women from Domestic violence Act, 2005; the
Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956; the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961; the
Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986; the Sexual Harassment
of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition And Redressal
) Act, 2013; the
Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 etc.
By the end of this article, you might feel empowered (of course "females") by
the protection and care that law has made available to them, so Come on! Let's
Here is a quick preface of the rights:
- Right to maintenance
- Right to equal pay
- Right to dignity and decency
- Right against domestic violence
- Rights at workplace
- Right against dowry
- Right to free legal aid
- Right of private defense
Right to maintenanceMaintenance includes the basic necessities of life like food, shelter, clothes,
education, health care facilities etc. A married woman is entitled to get
maintenance from her husband even after her divorce till she doesn't remarry.
Maintenance depends on the standard of living of the wife and circumstances and
income of the husband.
Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, puts
an obligation on the husband to maintain her divorced wife except when the wife
lives in adultery or refuses to live with her husband without reasonable cause
or when both of them live separately by mutual consent. Under the aforesaid
section, any Indian woman irrespective of her caste and religion can claim
maintenance from her husband.
The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 also facilities maintenance but to Hindu women
only. Whereas, the Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act, 1939 covers only Muslim
Right to equal payWe now have gender neutral laws. A male and a female is entitled to the same pay
for the same work. The Equal Remuneration Act provides for the same. It ensures
payment of equal remuneration to both men and women workers for the same work or
work of a similar nature. In the context of recruitment and service conditions,
there will be no discrimination on the basis of gender.
Right to dignity and decencyDignity and decency are women's personal jewels. Anybody who tries to snatch and
disrobe her modesty is considered a sinner and law very well entails its
Every woman has the right to live in dignity, free of fear, coercion, violence
and discrimination. Law very well respects women's dignity and modesty. The
criminal law provides for the punishments for offences committed against women
like Sexual Harassment (Sec. 354A), assault with intent to disrobe her (Sec.
354B) or to outrage her modesty (Sec. 354), Voyeurism (Sec. 354C), Stalking
In case the woman herself is accused of an offence and arrested, she is behaved
and dealt with decency. Her arrest and search should be made with strict regard
to decency by a woman police officer and her Medical examination should be
carried out by a woman medical officer or in supervision of a woman medical
officer. In rape cases, so far as practicable, a woman police officer should
register the FIR. Furthermore, she cannot be arrested after sunset and before
sunrise except for a special permission of the Magistrate by a woman police
Right against domestic violenceEvery woman is entitled to the right against Domestic Violence with her by
virtue of the enactment of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act in
2005. Domestic Violence includes within its ambit not only Physical abuse but
also mental, sexual and economic abuse.
So, if you are a daughter or a wife or a live-in partner and is subjected to any
of such abuses by your partner or husband or his relatives or by person related
to you by blood or adoption who live or have lived with you in a shared
household, then you are well covered under the provisions of Domestic Violence
Act and may seek different remedies provided thereof.
You may contact the women
helpline no. "1091" and register your complaint. They will inform police about
your case. You may also approach the women's cell of your area which you can
find with help of google. They provide special services to such women and help
them lodge their cases before the Magistrate after drafting their complaints in
a proper manner. You may also approach the police to register your case.
Since the case of Domestic violence is cognizable in nature, police is bound to
register FIR and investigate thereto, but in case, it refuses to do so then you
may write a letter stating your case to Superintendent of police and post it, if
SP feels that the information discloses a cognizable offence, then he may either
himself investigate or direct his subordinate police officer to register the
case and investigate it.
In case, SP also denies you, you may directly approach
the Magistrate having jurisdiction in your area, and move your application under
sec. 12 of DV Act with the help of a lawyer for seeking desired relief(s)
against Domestic Violence which include protection, custody and compensation
The Indian Penal code also provides protection to such women who are subjected
to Domestic violence, under Sec 498A by punishing the husband or his relatives
with the imprisonment which may extend to 3 years and fine.
Rights at workplaceYou have a right to have a ladies toilet where you work. At places, with more
than 30 female workers, providing facilities for care and feeding of children is
mandatory. Further, the Supreme Court and the Govt. had put in to ensure the
safety of women at workplaces. The Hon'ble Supreme Court in Vishakha v. State of
Rajasthan, had laid down exclusive guidelines for protection of women from
Sexual Harrasment at workplace, following which, the Govt. in 2013, has enacted
an exclusive legislation: The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition And Redressal) Act, 2013 for that end. So if any person
at your workplace, asks you for sexual favors, or makes sexually colored remarks
and whistles looking at you or sings obscene songs looking at you, touches you
inappropriately, or shows pornography, then all that will constitute Sexual
Harrassment and you may complain to the Internal complaints committee which is
required to be constituted by the employer at each office or branch with 10 or
more employees. The District Officer is also required to constitute a Local
Complaints Committee at each district, and if required at the block level. Apart
from this, IPC also, penalizes Sexual Harassment under 354A by providing an
imprisonment of 1-3 years.
Right against dowryDowry system i.e. giving and taking of dowry by bride or bridegroom or by their
parents at, before or after the marriage is penalized by Dowry Prohibition Act,
1961. The Act, defines "Dowry" as any property or valuable security given or
agreed to be given either directly or indirectly by one party to the other but
does not include dower or mahr in the case of persons to whom the Muslim
Personal Law (Shariat) applies. If you give, take or abet giving or taking of
dowry, then you shall be punishable with a minimum imprisonment of 5 years and
minimum fine of Rs. 15,000.
"Say no to dowry, it breeds violence."
Right to free legal aidIf you are an aggrieved woman, you are entitled to claim free legal services
from the legal services authorities recognized under the Legal Services
Authorities Act, 1987 irrespective of whether you can afford legal services on
your own. There are District, State, and National legal Services Authorities
constituted at District, State and National level respectively. Legal services
include assisting in the conduct of any case or other legal proceedings before
any Court or tribunal or authority and advising on legal matters.
- Right of private defence/ self-defence
It is a defensive right. You can cause hurt, grievous hurt or even death in
protecting your body or another person's body from the assailant. But you can
kill the assailant without attracting liability and punishment only in certain
When you feel that the assailant is about to cause your death or grievous hurt
or commit rape, kidnapping or abduction or if he intends to lock you in a room
or throws or attempts to throw acid at you, then you can kill that person and
law will protect you.
Indian Law protects women very well. These 8 most common yet basic Rights of
women should be known by every Indian woman. A person who knows law, doesn't
need any weapon. Law itself is his weapon which makes him the most powerful
person. Awareness about your rights makes you smart and just. Only if you are
aware of your rights, can you fight against any injustice meted out to you at
home, at the workplace, or in the society. So, dear ladies, the bottom line is:
"Don't be oppressed, know your rights and claim them because when one woman
stands up for herself, she stands up for all the women."