Laws are complicated for the common man to understand but these rights listed below is what every Indian citizen should know especially women.
National Crime Records Bureau’s data released in 2015 saw 3,27,394 cases registered for ‘crimes against women’ in India. While it is widely believed amongst the people that the government machinery is responsible to control the crime rates, a faction also thinks that awareness about laws that protect women is a key to implement the deterrent theory of punishment thereby reducing the crimes.
The following are the constitutional rights in India that are drafted to protect women:
PART III (FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS)
1. Article 14 of the Indian constitution states: “The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.”
No one can discriminate on the grounds of gender.
2. Article 15 of the Constitution states: “Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth
1. The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them,
2. No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them, be subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to – access to shops, public restaurants, hotels and places of public entertainment; or – the use of wells, tanks, bathing ghats, roads and places of public resort maintained wholly or partly out of State funds or dedicated to the use of the general public
3. Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for women and children
Special provisions can be made for women and children. Access cannot be restricted to entertainment places, hotels, shops, roads etc. on the basis of gender.
3. Article 16 states: “Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment:
1. There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State
2. No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence or any of them, be ineligible for, or discriminated against in respect or, any employment or office under the State…”
Employment opportunities are equal for all.
4. Article 23 states: “ Prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour.—(1) Traffic in human beings and beggar and other similar forms of forced labour are prohibited and any contravention of this provision shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law…”
Human trafficking and forced labour are illegal.
PART IV (DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY)
5. Article 39 states: “Certain principles of policy to be followed by the State:
The State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards securing:
(a) that the citizens, men and women equally, have the right to an adequate means of livelihood;
(d) that there is equal pay for equal work for both men and women;
(e) that the health and strength of workers, men and women, and the tender age of children are not abused and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength; “
Equal pay should be there for women and men.
6. Article 42 states that: ” Provision for just and humane conditions of work and maternity relief.—The State shall make provision for securing just and humane conditions of work and for maternity relief.”
Women are entitled to maternity relief.
PART IV A (FUNDAMENTAL DUTIES)
7. Article 51A states that: “It shall be the duty of every citizen of India:
(e) to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities; to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women; “
The Constitution specifically asks people to not do things that are harmful and against the dignity of women.
PART IX (THE PANCHAYATS)
8. Article 243D states that: “(3) 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 shall be reserved for women and such seats may be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in a Panchayat.
(4) The offices of the Chairpersons in the Panchayats at the village or any other level shall be reserved for the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and women in such manner as the Legislature of a State may, by law, provide. “
One-third seats are to reserved for women in every Panchayat.
PART IXA (THE MUNICIPALITIES)
9. Article 243T states that: “(2) Not less than one-third of the total number of seats reserved under clause (1) shall be reserved for women belonging to the Scheduled Castes or, as the case may be, the Scheduled Tribes.
(4) The offices of Chairpersons in the Municipalities shall be reserved for the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes and women in such manner as the Legislature of a State may, by law, provide. “
One-third seats are to reserved for women in Municipalities.
A violation of a fundamental right allows the filing of a Writ Petition at the High Court and the Supreme Court under Articles 226 and 32 of the Constitution.