How many of us look forward to reading the daily newspaper for news? The number is going down, because as soon as we take a glimpse, we are depressed to read news about crimes against women. Sorry to say, but most of them, heinous in nature.
By and large, India has been a male dominated society and the need for enacting women’s laws and rights has long urged the governance. Although, there have been charges against the authorities for shabby implementations, awareness is another matter which remains overlooked. Awareness of women’s laws would definitely put the Indian women in next gear, in her safety drive. Here’s a comprehensive collection of laws and rights of women which will help gain awareness.
Laws related to married women
Many may not be aware of the range of laws enacted concerning married women. ‘Dowry prohibition act‘ considers giving or taking any valuable assets as an offensive act, having penalty of imprisonment and fine. It also has provisions tending to any encounters of mental, physical harassment and threatening acts concerning dowry issues. One of the lesser known, but pertinent laws protecting married women’s properties is the ‘The married women’s property act‘ which gives absolute insulation of women’s belongings from her husband’s court and tax attachments. According to ‘The Indian woman’s right to property act‘, an equal right to husband’s property is granted to wife. And through the amendment to this act, daughters can enjoy rights at par with the sons of family in parent’s property.
However, despite numerous contributory cases of marital rapes and sexual abuse, there isn’t an exclusive law. It is dealt as a domestic violence act.
Laws related to working women
In keeping with the relevance of laws for the today’s woman, workplace related laws constitute laws concerning remuneration, working hours, sexual harassment, maternity benefit are in place. Women are assured of equal remuneration as their male counterparts as stated by Equal Remuneration Act. Women can disagree to work after certain hours on legal grounds in India. Sexual harassment at work place is aptly dealt, by providing definite statements to put forth the acts associated with sexual harassment. For Example: making sexually colored remarks could also be termed as sexual harassment in the eyes of law. Maternity benefit laws take care of most of the aspects of working mother. Legally, it is an offense if a new mother is expected to join before six weeks after her delivery. Further, it entitles the new mother to two nursing breaks and a medical bonus.
Laws related to women suffering domestic violence
“Domestic violence” is associated broadly with all forms of abuse or threat of abuse in household surroundings. Physical, verbal, emotional, economic or sexual abuse which can cause harm to a woman conforms to domestic violence. It covers child sexual abuse, women harassment, and marital rape. Anyone found guilty of such crimes against women is eligible for rigorous imprisonment and heavy fine. Moreover, the law grants many favorable rights to women in such a scenario.
Laws related to Eve teasing issues
Laws in this category can be classified in to the ones which are related to actual deed against women and the ones which show women indecently. The code of criminal act and the subsequent amendments cover crimes like stalking, voyeurism, acid attack and sexual harassment and are eligible for imprisonment and fine. Women are protected from obscene representation in advertisements, pamphlets etc. through the Indecent Representation of Women Act.
Laws related to cyber crimes
Cyber crimes committed specifically targeting women, constitutes acts of harassing women using the internet. There have been cases wherein women have been victimized through cyber stalking, defamation and morphing using the net. Cyber stalkers harass through websites, blogs, chat rooms and emails. These can be tackled by cyber cells through different sections of Indian Penal Code. Morphing constitutes changing any downloaded photos and re-posting without consent. The culprits of morphing can be brought to task using I.T. Act. Cyber defamation is a crime against women which has occurred frequently. It constitutes publishing false and defamatory matter about women on the net through websites or broadcasting emails containing derogatory information. These are considered criminal offenses under various sections of Indian Penal Code and are entitled to imprisonment as well as fine.
“Hope is being able to see the light, despite all the darkness” by Desmond Tutu, appropriately gives the message to all women that awareness of existing laws in the Indian judiciary system would be a step ahead in all our ventures.