Not every women in this world is privileged enough to be part of the world’s largest judicial system. Thus, we as women of India must feel extremely proud of being recipients of this privileged honor.
However, this privilege would be worth only when each and every women in this country knows about the laws and rights that protect them. In wake of the rising crimes against women, it is extremely important that the women of India become sensitive to their rights and laws.
While laws against child marriage and dowry have already gained awareness, there are few other laws and rights that most women are still unaware of:
- Improper Police Procedure – It is mandatory for every police station to have a lady officer (not below the rank of Head Constable) available round-the-clock to assist with counselling of sexual assault victims or to arrest another women. The most important law to be noted here is that ‘A women is not allowed to be arrested after sunset or before sunrise (with exceptions at times).
- Indecent Representation of Women – Under Act, 1986, indecent representation of a women through any media including advertisements, paintings, publications, writings, etc. is strictly prohibited.
- Special Marriage Act – India being a country of diverse castes and religions; the special marriage act allows two people of different castes and faiths to get married, registered or divorced. However, this act is not applicable in Jammu & Kashmir.
- Indian Divorce Act – Family courts in India are trusted with the responsibility of dissolution of marriage, judicial separation, mutual consent, etc.
- Succession of Property – Under the Hindu Succession Act, any person regardless of gender, if entitled to be heir of ancestral property should get it.
- Domestic Violence – This particular act protects a women against domestic violence or intention of cruelty by any family member (regardless of gender).
Here are few laws especially useful for the Working Women of India:
- Minimum Wage – Under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, every professional section (including men and women) has a minimum wage already defined that must be payed to the skilled, unskilled and semi-skilled workers.
- Sexual Harassment At Workplace – Since, working women spend most part of their day at their workplace, this particular act safeguards them against sexual harassment at work (including innuendoes, subtle touches, sexual overtones or gestures, invasion of private space by male colleague, etc.)
- Maternity Benefit – The entitlement to maternity benefits may vary from company to company, especially in the private sector. The general rule however allows a pregnant women having worked for at least 80 days during the 12 months immediately preceding expected date of delivery, to be entitled to maternity benefits.
- Equal Remuneration Act – In order to protect and maintain the interests of women in India, this Act prevents gender discrimination and promotes equal remuneration.