Women have known to be soft targets for centuries now. Being the weaker section of the society, they have borne the brunt of inequality, domestic violence, sexual harassment, exploitation, slavery, but to name a few. Well, efforts to work towards the upliftment of women have also been at the forefront of some of the able minded people of the society, since long. Known social reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy and some unsung ones like Ishwar Chandra Vidhyasagar, Virchand Gandhi dedicated their lives for the upliftment of women in Indian Society.
Well, in the recent years, India has been witnessing the waves of change. The taboos, beliefs and systems created by our ancestors, men and women both, are now slowly getting erased from the minds of people. Now that education and exposure to information and knowledge has empowered people to think with an open minds, undoubtedly times are changing and for good.
But, in a country like India with a billion people and majority of them living below the poverty line, the picture in rural areas hasn’t changed as compared to the urban side. Women today have access to many legal privileges that empower them to fight for their rights with a certain amount of ease. You need to remember that as a women, you are born an equal to man and no one can come and just deprive you of that freedom, for any reason whatsoever. Let us run through some of the legal privileges every woman needs to be aware of because many of us are ignorant on the same.
Zero FIR Shield
Under the Zero FIR provision, a female victim has the privilege of filing her compliant at any of the police stations across India, irrespective of the jurisdiction in which the incident has occurred. Post Fir lodging with the magistrate, it is transferred to the respective police stations.
Relief – Timely action against crime.
Identity Anonymity Shield
Under the section 228A, the anonymity of the victims identity such as name or related information cannot be disclosed by anyone and is a punishable act. This is applicable for female victims offended under section 376.
Relief – Protection against Social Victimization.
Domestic Violence & Cruelty Shield
Domestic Violence and cruelty is a common practice in India and in-order to protect women against the same, there is section 498 of IPC. Under it a female victim can register a non bailable compliant against the husband live in partner or relative. Further, under the Section 18 of our constitution, a perpetrator or accused is barred from entering her area or work, meeting her or communicating with her in any way. The forms of violence under this section include physical, verbal, emotional, economic and sexual.
Relief – Protection from abuse of every kind.
Sexual Harassment Shield
Sexual Harassment at workplace is highly prevalent with the urban section of the society as well as the rural or labor class. To enure the safety, dignity and respect of women at workplace, the constitution allows women victims to file a written compliant to the Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) within 3 months after the incident takes place. The local Complaints committee (LCC) takes up the mater later on if there is no further action in the matter. Even the heir of the victim or any one with a written permission from the lady can file a compliant on her behalf.
Relief – Protection against workplace exploitation.
Representation Indecency Shield
We all have come across umpteen cases where women have been threatened of their private pictures or videos being aired, broadcast or shared and asked for indecent favors, extortion, etc. There are instances where they are secretly shot without knowledge and shared as well. The above law protects the lady from any indecent or vulgar representation of her figure, her body or any part and is considered to be a punishable offense. Victim can immediately raise a complaint against it under the said provision.
Relief – Protection of Dignity and Respect.
Alimony after Divorce
As per section 24 of the Hindu Marriage Act, the working spouse needs to pay the non working spouse a fixed amount as maintenance when the divorce is in process. While the section 25 makes provision for periodical or one time maintenance altogether for the applicant spouse, most of the cases being females. A women has a right to claim her maintenance from husband on account of domestic violence, adultery, polygamy, desertion, conversion like issues, during a divorce. Similar laws are there for Muslims, Parsi and Christian women as well.
Relief – Financial stability during tough times.
Family Property succession
If you’re aware, there was this recent amendment in the Hindu succession act of 2005, under which a female can now claim equal share in family property. Earlier it was the male who had the major share in the Property, is got revised in 2015.
Relief – Equal status in family.
Well, it is still a bumpy road ahead for women across all age groups, but none the less these legal privileges are certainly like shock absorbers for them, helping many of them through these patchy roads they ought to tread at some point of life or other.
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