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Women Empowerment in India - Rights, Laws, Policies

IamCheated.com Research Team | October 03, 2018  1:05:pm

According to the census of the year 2011, the gender ratio in India was 940 females per 1000 males. This shows an upward trend when compared to the 2001 census data. In the year 2001, the gender ratio was 933 females per 1000 males. As the number of women in the country increases, the Indian Judicial System has come up with many laws to support woman in the country.

Crimes against women are increasing each day and today women are not safe, even in their own homes.  It is very important for every woman in India to know the laws that are put in place to protect them.

Women rights in India 

These are the laws that protect women and their rights

1. The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (2006)

According to the UNICEF report, India has the highest number of child brides in the world. In India, nearly 27% of girls get married before they turn 18. It has become tough to eliminate child marriages completely in India, as people consider it an essential part of culture and tradition.

In order to eradicate child marriages in the country, the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act was made effective in the year 2007. According to the act, child marriage is a marriage where either the girl or the boy is underage, i.e., the girl is under 18 years of age or the boy is under 21 years.  In case parents try to marry their girl child before 18, they will be subject to the action of the law.

2. The Equal Remuneration Act (1976)

This act aims at preventing discrimination with respect to the remuneration paid to employees on the basis of gender. As per this act, both men and women must be paid an equal amount of remuneration, for the same work or work of similar nature and there should not be any partiality or discrimination. Not just remuneration, there must not be any discrimination in matters of promotion, transfer, training and so on.  It is very important for every woman to know this law to protect her from discrimination and fight against it.

3. The Dowry Prohibition Act (1961)

Accepting dowry at the time of marriage is a common practice followed in India since many years. Dowry is usually taken by the groom's family from the bride's family. There are also cases where dowry is demanded even after marriage and many women are tortured because of this. Accepting dowry is illegal in India. According to the Dowry Prohibition Act (1961), nobody can take or give dowry to the bride or the bridegroom at the time of marriage. Anyone found giving or taking dowry will be penalized.

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4. The Maternity Benefit Act (1861)

According to the Maternity Benefit Act, each female employee in India is entitled to get paid maternity leave during pregnancy. This rule is applicable to both the private and public sector employees. In the past, maternity leave in India was only for 12 weeks (3 months).  From March 2017, the Maternity leave has been increased to 26 weeks (6 months). Female employees who have worked for at least 80 days in the 12 months immediately preceding the date of expected delivery are eligible to avail maternity leave.  In case your employer denies the maternity benefit, you can take legal action.

5. Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act (1971)

The main intention of implementing this act was to reduce incidents of illegal abortion, maternal mortality, and morbidity. This act clearly mentions the conditions under which the pregnancy can be terminated and the persons qualified to do it.

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

This act was implemented to protect women from sexual harassment at the workplace, be it in the private or public sector. This act also aims at the redressal of complaints vis-a-vis sexual harassment. As per the law, every company with more than 10 employees must implement it.

7. The Hindu Succession Act

According to this act, daughters also have a right in the property of their parents, just like sons. The share of the daughter and son must be equal. Daughters have the right to stay at parent's place if she is divorced by her husband or is widowed. But, this varies from case to case depending on whether the property is inherited or self-owned by her parents.

8. Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005

The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act was implemented to protect women from domestic violence. The main aim of the act was to protect the wife, a female live-in partner or a woman living in a household like a mother or a sister, from domestic violence from a husband, male live-in partner or relatives.

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