VYETH Student Magazine

Women Protection and Changing Laws

Yawar Zaid

In Indian society, woman occupies a vital position and venerable place. The Vedas glorified women as the mother, the creator and one who gives life and worshipped her as devil or Goddess
.Women in India, today, are becoming the most vulnerable section as for as their safety and security is concerned. Violence against women can fit into several broad categories. Some of them are rape, domestic violence, sexual harassment, female feticide etc. Our country must have the number of laws, ostensibly for the benefit of women. The constitution and the different acts
passed by the Union governments and the states give special protection to women, aware of their weak position. In spite of all these pieces of legislation loaded in favour of women, their condition is improving only at a snail’s pace.

Constitutional provisions:
The constitution of India guarantees the right to equality to women. It embodies the general principles of equality before law and prohibits unreasonable discrimination between persons. Article 14 embodies the idea of equality expressed in preamble. Thus, In Air India V. Nargesh
Meerza the Supreme Court struck down the offending regulations of air India and Indian Airlines that provided that an air hostess would retire on attaining an age of 35 years or on the first pregnancy, whichever was earlier. While article 15(1) prohibits the state from discriminating on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex, or place of birth, Article 15(3) allows the state to make special provisions for
women and children. Article 15 merely elaborates that same concept and acknowledges that women need special treatment for their up lift men.
Article (16) provides equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State. In C.B. Muthamma v. Union of India the Supreme
Court held that a provision of the service rules requiring a female employee to obtain permission of the government in writing before getting married and denying her the right to be promoted on
the ground of her being married was discriminatory.
Article 39(a) urges the state to provide equal right to adequate means of livelihood to men and women, Article 39(d) Equal pay for equal work for both men and women. In the case of Randhir Singh v. Union of India AIR 1982, Supreme Court held that equal pay for equal work is a constitutional goal and is capable of being enforced.In pursuance of Article 42 of the constitution, the Maternity Benefit Act has been passed in
1961.Article 44 enjoins the state to secure for the citizens a Uniform Civil Code throughout the territory of India.
51 A (e) says that it is the duty of the citizens to renounce Uniform Civil Court practices that are derogatory to the dignity of women.
Besides these constitutional provisions, there are several laws meant for the protection and benefit of women.
2) The Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971
this act provides for the termination of certain pregnancies by registered medical practitioners and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
3) The Hindu Succession Act, 1956 with amendment in 2005. This act provided for equal inheritance rights to women for the first time. It abolished the concept of limited estate of women.
4) The protection of women from domestic violence Act , 2005
Domestic violence Act meant to provide for more effective protection of the rights of women guaranteed under the constitution who are victims of violence of any kind occurring within the family and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.The commission of Sati (Prevention) Act 1987 its object is to prevent the practice of Sati and the glorification of such an Act. The attempt to commit Sati is also punishable under certain circumstances.