In India, almost every minute there is some kind of violence against women. News items from the newspaper to television show that women are as insecure on the streets as at home and offices. It is very important to understand and know your rights as a woman in society. As a mother, wife, daughter, employee and wife, these are 10 Indian laws that you should know.
1. Child Marriage Prohibition Act, 2006
According to the International Research Center for Women, about 47% of girls in India get married before they reach adulthood, that is, before the age of 18 years. Speaking of child marriage, India ranks number 13 in the world. Because child marriage has been ingrained in our culture for hundreds of years, it’s hard to throw it away at once.
But the Child Marriage Act, which came into force in 2007, protects girls from this. If the girl is under 18 and the boy is under 21, marriage can be said to be illegal. Parents who marry together can be imprisoned.
2. Special Marriage Act, 1954
The purpose of this Act is to give rise to special types of marriages and divorces. In a country like India where marriage outside of religion and caste becomes a problem among the people, the law allows a boy and a girl to marry after they become adults. However, this law does not apply to Jammu and Kashmir. But Indian citizens living abroad can take advantage of it.
3.Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961
Under this law, it is illegal to take or give dowry at the time of marriage, which can be punished by both the policyholder and the donor. The centuries-old belief that women must depend on men for their subsistence is the root of dowry. At the time of marriage, the woman is sent with money and ornaments saying she can be ‘kept’ at her in-laws ’house.
The place of women in society has changed but neither this custom nor the thinking of the people has changed. According to 2020 National Crime Records Bureau data, 20 women were being killed by dowry every day in India.
4. Divorce Act in India, 1869
Under the Indian Divorce Act, two married people can file a petition for legal separation. You can also ask for custody of your child. All the family courts in the country help to file, know and adjudicate this case.
5. Maternity Benefits Act, 1861
According to this law, every woman who has worked in any institution for at least 80 days within the last year of the scheduled date of childbirth will be entitled to maternity leave, additional time for breastfeeding and medical assistance.
6. Pregnancy Medical Interruption Act, 1971
Under this law, both married and unmarried women will have the facility and right to abortion. According to the old rules, women could only have one fetus until they were 20 weeks old. But in this act there have been constant changes in women’s rights. Now up to 24 weeks, women can end the pregnancy, if the fetus is not medically healthy.
Along with this, if a woman’s pregnancy is the result of a rape, she can also have an abortion. Abortion can also be done if the child is unplanned and the pregnancy is the result of a ‘failed contraceptive’, or if there is a risk of damaging the woman’s physical or mental health due to the birth of the child.
An important aspect of this act is that even underage girls can have an abortion with the consent of the guardian. However, The Guardian has no right to force the girl to terminate or continue the pregnancy.
7. Law of 2013 on sexual harassment of women in the workplace (prevention, prohibition and reparation)
According to this law, it is necessary to set up an ICC (Internal Complaints Committee) in any institution where 10 or more people work. The head of this committee will be a senior woman from the institute. If there is no such woman in the institute, the institute will need to appoint an outside woman. This commission will listen to the women’s complaints.
Under the law, sexual harassment includes touching a woman inappropriately or without permission, using abusive language with her, having physical intercourse with the promise of promotion or other benefits, showing / reciting obscene images / videos / audio.
8. Indecent Representation of Women (Prevention) Act, 1986
Under this Act, no obscene representation of a woman may be made in any form, whether printed, video or audio. The distribution of this performance will also be accused, that is, the act of bringing it to a larger audience.
9. Law of the National Commission of the Woman, 1990
The National Women’s Commission, that is, the National Women’s Commission, was formed in 1992, although the act and the guidelines for doing so were decided only in 1990. According to this act, the central government must appoint a chairwoman of the women’s commission, who will be a woman. The government will have the right to choose women.
The task of the Women’s Commission is to help the government enforce all laws related to women. In addition, taking into account any kind of injustice or obscene portrayal of women, action must be taken against them. At the same time, work for the social and economic development of women.
10. Equal Remembrance Act, 1976
Under this law passed in 1976, no governmental or non-governmental organization can discriminate between two people when giving a salary on the grounds of gender. If you find an employer doing this, you may have to go to jail along with paying the fine.