Laws that protects women and their rights

Law
01-Dec-2022
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Our nation's highest level of government has established several regulations to safeguard women. Every woman, whether domestic or NRI, must be aware of her rights to avoid suffering in silence. Here are some laws in India that safeguard women's right and ensure their safety and welfare:

  • The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act of 2006: Safeguarding the Rights and Well-being of Girls
  • Special Marriage Act of 1954: Safeguarding Women's Rights and Upholding Freedom in Marital Choice
  • Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961: Safeguarding Women's Rights Against Dowry Practices
  • Indian Divorce Act of 1969: Addressing Marital Dissolution with a Focus on Women's Rights
  • Maternity Benefit Act of 1961: Promoting Women's Well-being Through Maternity Rights and Benefit
  • Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1971: Empowering Women's Reproductive Rights and Health Choices
  • Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013: Upholding Dignity and Safety in the Workplace for Women
  • Indecent Representation of Women Act of 1986: Protecting Against Misrepresentation and Upholding the Dignity of Women
  • National Commission for Women Act of 1990: Empowering Women and Ensuring Gender Equality
  • Equal Remuneration Act of 1976: Safeguarding Women's Right to Equal Pay and Ensuring Fair Compensation

The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act of 2006

According to studies, India is ranked 13th among the countries with the highest rates of child marriage. Nearly 47% of girls get married before turning 18 according to the International Research Centre for Women. India currently holds the 13th-lowest rate of child marriages in the world. It has been difficult to eradicate child marriage because it is ingrained in Indian culture and tradition for generations. In 2007, the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act went into effect.

According to this law, a marriage in which either the bride or the groom are minors—that is, the bride is under the age of 18 or the boy is under the age of 21—is referred to as child marriage. Parents who attempt to marry underage girls may face legal consequences. The fact that the law forbids these unions serves as a strong deterrent.

Special Marriage Act of 1954

This act's goals are to provide for divorce, registration of some marriages, and a specific type of marriage under certain circumstances. When individuals from various castes and religions in a nation like India choose to wed, they do so by the Special Marriage Act. It also applies to intended spouses who are Indian citizens living overseas but not to the state of Jammu & Kashmir.

Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961

This act makes it illegal to take or give dowries to the bride, the bridegroom, or their families at the time of marriage. In India, the practice of giving and receiving dowries is standard. The groom and his family frequently demand dowry from the bride and her family.

Women moving in with their spouses and in-laws after marriage is one reason why the system has become entrenched. Bride burning has also occurred over the years as a result of women's lack of economic freedom and the stigma associated with divorce. Many women are tortured, beaten, and even burned when the girl's families refuse to comply with requests for dowry even after the couple is married.

One of the biggest problems facing our society right now is this. Women who openly criticize it have spread the word and inspired other women to speak up.

Indian Divorce Act of 1969

This Act just lays forth the steps and requirements for obtaining a divorce. This features several sections that deal with the benefits that a woman can get from a divorce as well. Family courts have been set up to hear and handle these types of matters.

Maternity Benefit Act of 1961

This Act lays forth the guidelines for the employment of women and the benefits for new mothers that must be provided by law. This spells out laws and regulations regarding maternity leave, additional compensation, hospital needs, nursing breaks, etc.

Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1971

In the years 1975 and 2002, this Act had two amendments. This Act's primary goal and objective are to decrease unlawful abortions. This Act stipulates that only legitimate and qualified individuals shall be permitted to perform abortions.

Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013

This Act aims to safeguard women's safety in the workplace by preventing sexual harassment there. According to a FICCI-EY analysis from November 2015, 36% of Indian enterprises and 25% of MNCs are not in compliance with the Sexual Harassment Act. The use of words with sexual undertones, encroachment into personal space by a male coworker who is too close for comfort, subtle touches, and innuendos are all examples of sexual harassment at the workplace.

Indecent Representation of Women Act of 1986

This Act establishes the restriction against depicting women in any indecent or obscene manner in any type of publication, including advertisements, prints, writings, etc.

National Commission for Women Act of 1990

The National Commission for Women (NCW) was created in January 1992 and is a statutory organization of the Indian government. In 2014, Lalitha Kumaramangalam was chosen to serve as its Chairperson. The NCW speaks up for Indian women's rights and gives voice to their problems and issues. The National Commission for Women Act works to advance women's position and promotes their economic independence.

Equal Remuneration Act of 1976

"Equal effort, equal pay" is the major goal of this Act. Discrimination in pay is prohibited by this law. It mandates that both male and female employees get equal compensation. To safeguard the interests of women, knowledge of these and other legislation is essential. You cannot fight against any injustice done to you at home, at work, or in society unless you are informed of your rights.

References:

https://restthecase.com/knowledge-bank/legal-rights-of-women-in-india

https://restthecase.com/knowledge-bank/what-are-women-s-rights-against-domestic-violence

https://restthecase.com/knowledge-bank/dowry-laws-in-india

https://www.indiacode.nic.in/handle/123456789/1681?sam_handle=123456789/1362

https://www.drishtiias.com/daily-news-analysis/medical-termination-of-pregnancy-mtp-amendment-act-2021