Women enjoy a lot of rights in India. Sadly, many women don’t even know their rights, which lead to exploitation. This article brings clarity on rights women enjoy and keeps them safe from exploitation.
Whenever a woman goes to a police station to file an FIR without a lawyer, she is either ignored or wrongly quoted. As per rules, women are entitled to get free legal aid and they have all the right to demand it. If a rape is reported, the rape victim must be given free legal aid or help by the Legal Services Authority.
A woman who has been raped has the right to privacy while recording the statement. She can record the statement in front of the magistrate without being heard by anyone else. She can also record her statement with a lady constable or police officer when not many people are present.
If a woman has been sexually harassed and legal action has not been taken after the incident, she has all the right to register a complaint at a later time. Police cannot refuse to register the complaint if it’s too late. There may be a lot of reasons why women postpone registering complaints.
See Also: Laws and Rights Every Indian Should Know
4. Right to virtual complaints
A woman has all the right to lodge FIR via email or registered post if she is not able to visit the police station. She has to send an e-mail or registered post addressing the senior police officer of the level of Deputy Commissioner or Commissioner of Police.
Under Zero FIR, women may register a complaint at any police station as per convenience. No police officer can deny registering a complaint, saying it doesn’t come under their jurisdiction. After the FIR is lodged, the complaint can be transferred to the police station of the requisite jurisdiction.
As per rules, women must not be arrested between 6 PM to 6 AM. Women have all the right to refuse to go to the police station at odd hours. This rule has been executed mainly because there are many cases where women were harassed by the police at wee hours. Women cannot be arrested at night even if there is a woman constable with the officers. In the case of a serious crime, the police officer has to get a letter from the magistrate.
As per rules, women cannot be called to the police station for any kind of inquiry; instead, the police have to go to her residence for interrogation. A woman constable and family members must be present at the time of interrogation.
The identity of a rape victim must not be revealed by the police or media under any circumstances. Publishing name or any other matter which leads to the disclosure of the identity of the girl is an offense.
As per rules, it’s mandatory for all firms, public and private to set up Sexual Harassment Complaints Committee within the organization for lodging complaints regarding sexual harassment. The committee should be headed by a woman and 50% of members should be women.
10. Right to equal pay
An employer cannot discriminate on the basis of gender when it comes to salary, pay or wages. As per rules, both men and women must be paid an equal salary for the same work. Women have the right to access all the services that are provided to male employees by the company.
As per the Hindu secession act, a woman has the right to get a share in ancestral property, just like her brother.
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