www.iasinsights.in ; www.iasgyaan.com posts Indian express summary-29th June 2018 about Women living without fear in India.
Where women are without fear
GoI rejecting International survey which claims India as most dangerous country for women.
Facts about the survey:
- Survey by Thomson Reuters Foundation found that India is the most dangerous country for women.
- India ranks below Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia and Saudi Arabia on the six issues surveyed.
- access to economic resources and discrimination
- customary practices,
- sexual violence,
- non-sexual violence and
GoI rejected the report
What is reality?
- The journey of a female is marked by discrimination from birth to death.patriarchal society with intrinsic structures of discrimination against girls and women.
- We have evolved elaborate systems governing all spheres of life which discriminate on account of gender.
- Despite social reform movements and legal provisions, patriarchy rules the roost in our society and polity.
- Political rights are also inadequate.
- The Census of 2011 highlights the sex ratio at 940 with states like Haryana at a shocking 877 girls to 1000 boys
- Although primary education enrollment figures have improved, dropout of girl children remains an issue.
- Male privilege norms ensure that families prefer to spend on boys’ education rather than on girls.
- High incidence of under-age girls being pushed into marriage owing to poverty, lack of income avenues and sometimes conservative mindsets.
- A large number of girls are caught up in the vicious cycle of no education, early marriage, early motherhood, domestic violence, drudgery of family and low paying work. The experience can be far worse for girls from Dalit, minority, tribal or poor backgrounds.
- State mechanism has failed to check the rising incidence of sexual violence in society.
- Our capital city has come to acquire a reputation on rape.
- Our cities have become increasingly unsafe for women despite the Smart Cities campaign.
- Unsafe buses and trains have made the dream of education for girls that much more distant.
- Sexual violence during communal riots and violence against Dalit women goes largely unpunished.
- Women across economic backgrounds do not have autonomy over how to spend their earnings.
- There are issues like trafficking of girls, criminalisation of sexual minorities, denial of women’s share in property.
Measures taken by GoI:
Constitutional provisions for women
(i) Equality before law for women (Article 14)
(ii) The State not to discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them (Article 15 (i))
(iii) The State to make any special provision in favour of women and children (Article 15 (3))
(iv) Equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State (Article 16)
(v) The State to direct its policy towards securing for men and women equally the right to an adequate means of livelihood (Article 39(a)); and equal pay for equal work for both men and women (Article 39(d))
(vi) To promote justice, on a basis of equal opportunity and to provide free legal aid by suitable legislation or scheme or in any other way to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities (Art 39A)
(vii) The State to make provision for securing just and humane conditions of work and for maternity relief (Article 42)
(viii) The State to promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people and to protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation (Article 46)
(ix) The State to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people (Art 47)
(x) To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India and to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women (Article 51(A) (e))
(xi) Not less than one-third (including the number of seats reserved for women belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes) of the total number of seats to be filled by direct election in every Panchayat to be reserved for women and such seats to be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in a Panchayat (Article 243 D(3))
(xii) Not less than one- third of the total number of offices of Chairpersons in the Panchayats at each level to be reserved for women (Article 243 D (4))
(ix) Not less than one-third (including the number of seats reserved for women belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes) of the total number of seats to be filled by direct election in every Municipality to be reserved for women and such seats to be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in a Municipality (Article 243 T (3))
(x) Reservation of offices of Chairpersons in Municipalities for the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and women in such manner as the legislature of a State may by law provide (Article 243 T (4))
2. Legal Provisions
To uphold the Constitutional mandate, the State has enacted various legislative measures intended to ensure equal rights, to counter social discrimination and various forms of violence and atrocities and to provide support services especially to working women.
Although women may be victims of any of the crimes such as ‘Murder’, ‘Robbery’, ‘Cheating’ etc, the crimes, which are directed specifically against women, are characterized as ‘Crime against Women’. These are broadly classified under two categories.
(1) The Crimes Identified Under the Indian Penal Code (IPC)
(i) Rape (Sec. 376 IPC)
(ii) Kidnapping & Abduction for different purposes ( Sec. 363-373)
(iii) Homicide for Dowry, Dowry Deaths or their attempts (Sec. 302/304-B IPC)
(iv) Torture, both mental and physical (Sec. 498-A IPC)
(v) Molestation (Sec. 354 IPC)
(vi) Sexual Harassment (Sec. 509 IPC)
(vii) Importation of girls (up to 21 years of age)
(3) The Crimes identified under the Special Laws (SLL)
Although all laws are not gender specific, the provisions of law affecting women significantly have been reviewed periodically and amendments carried out to keep pace with the emerging requirements. Some acts which have special provisions to safeguard women and their interests are:
(i) The Employees State Insurance Act, 1948
(ii) The Plantation Labour Act, 1951
(iii) The Family Courts Act, 1954
(iv) The Special Marriage Act, 1954
(v) The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
(vi) The Hindu Succession Act, 1956 with amendment in 2005
(vii) Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956
(viii) The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961 (Amended in 1995)
(ix) Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961
(x) The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971
(xi) The Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1976
(xii) The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976
(xiii) The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006
(xiv) The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 1983
(xv) The Factories (Amendment) Act, 1986
(xvi) Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986
(xvii) Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act, 1987
(xviii) The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
- Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013
- Criminalizing Instant triple talaq
- Cabinet approved ordinance to award death penalty to those convicted of raping children up to 12 years of age.
Special Initiatives For Women
(i) National Commission for Women
In January 1992, the Government set-up this statutory body with a specific mandate to study and monitor all matters relating to the constitutional and legal safeguards provided for women, review the existing legislation to suggest amendments wherever necessary, etc.
(ii) Reservation for Women in Local Self -Government
The 73rd Constitutional Amendment Acts passed in 1992 by Parliament ensure one-third of the total seats for women in all elected offices in local bodies whether in rural areas or urban areas.
(iii) The National Plan of Action for the Girl Child (1991-2000)
The plan of Action is to ensure survival, protection and development of the girl child with the ultimate objective of building up a better future for the girl child.
(iv) National Policy for the Empowerment of Women, 2001
The Department of Women & Child Development in the Ministry of Human Resource Development has prepared a “National Policy for the Empowerment of Women” in the year 2001. The goal of this policy is to bring about the advancement, development and empowerment of women.
Despite many efforts we still witness crimes against women in India. Recent remarks by politicians about women to be a child producing machine and other remarks create outrage and reflect the cheap mindsets and patriarchal society.
Political will, changes in people’s mindsets with effective implementation of these legislation will definitely ensure more women safety in India. Women participation and women rulers reflects our Indian society always treated them with equality to some extent. Apart of these we need to accept the fact the status of women in India is far better than other nations where women are recently given chance drive their own cars.