Laws for The Protection of Women in India

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By Anjana K H

Introduction

In India , the number of the commission of crimes against women is increasing day by day. It is seriously becoming the responsibility of the government or the authority to provide safety measures to protect women from today’s criminal offences. Every woman , whether it’s a girl child or an adult , is facing a number of crimes , torture and exploitation.

So, it’s relevant to make a study on the important areas of legislations covering the protective provisions for women and providing  punishments to wrongdoer which are punitive and compensative in nature.

There are some important legislations and legal provisions enacted and inserted with the objective to provide legal protection for women.

It’s very important to be aware of the legal rights and legal provisions ensuring safety of a women as we all are living in a society where it’s very important to understand where to say no and to be safe.

As women are facing tortures and crimes from every area of their lives such as in marital relationships, work places , educations institutions etc., the protection must be available strictly to each and every woman across the country.

Important Legislations

There are some important legislations enacted with the purpose of providing legal protection for women.

• Dowry Prohibition Act , 1961

In India , Dowry system is a system in which the family of bride has to give Dowry ( May be in cash or ornaments or as property )to the family of bride groom . The Act named  Dowry Prohibition Act , 1965 , penalized the giving and taking of Dowry . Demanding Dowry is also an offence as per the Act .

Eventually the system , that is the system of giving Dowry resulted in the Dowry deaths ( murdering the women in the name of Dowry ) and here it is provided the punishments for demanding or giving and taking of Dowry.

The Dowry Prohibition Act , 1961 is applicable to all religions and as per the Act , Dowry includes goods , property , money which are given by either party to the marriage.

So here the Act was enacted and came into force on May 1 ,1961 , with the intention to prevent giving and receiving Dowry .(1)

Protection of Women from Domestic Violence  Act , 2005

Convention on The Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)  made ratification of the enactment of The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act ,2005.

The Act intended for the protection of women from the violence’s arising out of domestic relationships. Here the definition of Domestic Violence includes , not only physical violence but also emotional , economics or sexual abuse.

Actually, the law is a civil law and not a criminal law.

(1)Yourstory.com

Here the wrong doer has the responsibility to pay compensation as it is a civil law and it aims at the protection of the victim.

According to this Act , if the woman who faced the domestic violence should have shared the live with the wrongdoer in a house hold , and he made violent behavior on her , the wrongdoer will be liable under this Act.

Maternity Benefit Act , 1861

The maternity Benefit Act is a social security legislation as it provides beneficial schemes for women employees. As per the Act , a woman who had worked for at least 80 days during the 12 months preceding her delivery is eligible for the benefit available under maternity Benefit Act .

Also, she is entitled to get maternity leave , medical allowances etc.

Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act , 1971

In India , there were a time in which , all the parents wanting boy child and it caused for the increasing number of abortions. Due to the lack of awareness and education , women are tended to be forced to abort the child the womb…

The medical termination of pregnancy act 1971, intended to reduce illegal abortion and maternal mortality and morbidity.

The Act clearly providing provisions on the conditions to be fulfilled for the abortions and qualifications required for the person conducting the same.

Equal Remuneration Act , 1976

There were a time in India , and also occurs nowadays , in which the women employees are not given the equal amount wage as that of male employees.

The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 clearly prevents the discrimination in  terms of wages in the places of work.

The provides provisions discussing penalties to be imposed on the employer for discriminating women workers.

It provides for the payment of equal Remuneration for equal work for both men and women and it clearly concentrating for the enforcement of the beneficial provisions.

Indecent Representation of Women (Prevention) Act , 1986

As we all know , there are some merits and demerits of the present generations. As we are educationally developing , it is also essential to understand how to live in a society.

The Indecent Representation of Women (prevention ) Act is a legislation which aims to prevent indecent Representation of women by way of advertising on advertisements or publishing in publications , it through  paintings , figures , writings or in any other manner.

Sexual Harassment of women at workplace (prevention , Prohibition and redressal ) Act 2013

The Act aims to protect women in workplace from sexual harassments .

In India’s present situation , it clearly evident that women are facing sexual abuse all over their life and the sexual harassment at workplace also includes the words spoken or the touch with the sexual over tones.(2)

(2)yourstory.com

National Commission for Women Act ,1990

It is an essential part of the governance that it is providing a basic atmosphere for the welfare of its citizens.

The national Commission for women was such an initiative which promotes the availability of better situations for women.

It is a statutory body which was established in January 1992 .

It represents the space which demanding for the rights of the women and the enforcement of the same . It also provides a hand or a voice for the issues faced by women .

It was established with the aim to provide and improve the status of women and their economic empowerment.

The Act itself denotes the protection of the women as it is providing the provisions for the working of the Commission.

Indian Penal Code , 1860

There are some provisions which contains ingredients of offences committing against women.

Rape (section 375 – 377 )

A man who is said to commit rape if he is ,against the will of the victim and without her consent having sexual intercourse with the victim.

Section 367 provides punishment for rape and the punishment is different on the basis of the nature of seriousness.

Anyway, the person who is liable for the commission of rape will be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term of 10 years which may extend to life , and fine.

Domestic Violence ( sec. 498A)

As per the section domestic violence includes subjecting a woman to cruelty by her husband or his relatives.

The punishment for domestic violence will be an imprisonment for a term which may extend to 3 years and he will be liable for fine also.

Here cruelty means any willful conduct abetting the woman to commit suicide or harassment or conduct to cause injury or to health (mental or physical ) .

 Here section 498 A deals with domestic violence and it is described as the cruelty done by the husband or his relatives to the woman .

Assaultto Outrage Modesty ( section ,354)

As per section 354 , When a person uses force or assaults to any woman  with the intention to Outrage the Modesty of woman will be liable for punishment.

As per the section , the punishment will be imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years or with fine or with both.

sexual Assault ( sec 354 A)

When a person demands for sexual favors or showing pornography or making sexual remarks against the will of the woman will be punished for committing sexual Assault as per the section 354 A of I p c.

The punishments provided under the section are

1 Rigorous imprisonment for 3 years and fine

2 Imprisonment for 1 year or with fine or with both.

Assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe ( sec 354 B)

When a person uses force or abets a woman to be naked will be punished under this section with imprisonment for a term of 2 years which may extend to 7 years and with fine.

Dowry Death ( sec 304 B)

When a woman’s death occurs by any burns its bodily injury  as it is not in normal circumstances within 7 years of her marriage it will be considered as Dowry death.

There must be the elements of cruelty or harassment by her husband  and any relative of husband or any demand for Dowry .

The punishment prescribed for Dowry death is imprisonment for a term of 7 years but which may extend to Imprisonment for life.

Acid Attacks ( sec ,326 A , 326 B )

Section 326 says about the commission of causing grievous hurt by use of acid .

When a person commits such offence shall be punished with Imprisonment for a term of ten years which may extend to Imprisonment fir life and with fine.

Section 326 B says that when a person voluntarily throwing or attempt to throw acid will be punished with Imprisonment fir a term which may extend to 7 years and with fine.

Buying minor for the purpose of prostitution etc. .(sec 373)

When a person buys a minor with the intention to employ the minor fir the purpose of prostitution or for any immoral purpose , he will be punished under section 373 of IPC.

It provides the punishment of I imprisonment for a term which may extend to 10 years and fine.

Stalking (sec 354 D)

The sections deals with the offence of stalking as when a person follows a woman or contacting her without the interest of that lady or through electronic  commination commits stalking .

The person who is committing stalking will be punished with Imprisonment for a term which may extend to 3 years and with fine.

For the subsequent commission , he will be punished with Imprisonment for a term which may extend to 5 years and with fine.

Eve Teasing ( sec 509)

When a person , with the intention to insult the Modesty of a woman , makes any sound or words or gesture will be punished under section 509 of I p c.

As per the section he will be punished with Imprisonment fir a term which may extend to one year or with fine or with both.

Conclusion

Women are considering as the weaker section of the society .The increasing number of success stories of woman in every area is a positive attitude towards their career and in all aspects it’s the responsibility of the authority to provide an atmosphere for the women empowerment and for the same purpose it’s also important to provide protection and safety for their lives .

In India ,there a lot of Legislations enacted with the aim to protect women from sexual abuse or exploitation or making them second category or discrimination on the basis of gender.

The domestic violent Act , the Dowry Prohibition Act , Protection from sexual harassments at workplace Act are some of the important Legislations and all are working into the betterment of women lives and to make them protected.

And also, Indian Penal code provides provisions which indicates the offences and punishments for the protection of women .

So, it’s also a woman’s right to have an understanding about her rights , privileges and legal protection.

Reference

1 https://www.latestlaws.com/articles/all-you-need-to-know-about-offences-against-women-under-indian-penal-code-1860-read-article/

2 https://yourstory.com/2016/06/laws-that-protect-women-rights

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