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EQUAL VOICE, EQUAL GENDER AND EQUAL RIGHTS

Updated: May 30

By Jigisha Agrawal, Hidayatullah National Law University


INTRODUCTION

In our country, women are worshiped in the form of different Goddesses may it be Goddess Lakshmi, Goddess Durga or Goddess Kali. In the same country there are many people who discriminate between men and women, boy and girl. Though many laws are made for women empowerment and for discrimination against women and giving equal rights to women, but these laws would be useless until the mentality of the people in our society regarding women change.  Even after so many laws women in our country still face discrimination and face violence and injustice just because of their gender. They face so much troubles just because of the reason for she is not responsible. People talk a lot about women empowerment and gender equality but these are just in words and not in practice.  Though the condition of women have changed and improved over time but still they face a lot of issues and inequalities in our society. A many of the circumstances and the related laws are mentioned in this article further.

 

LEGAL PROVISIONS FOR GENDER EQUALITY

1.     PREAMBLE

The preamble of our constitution talks about three constitutional values out of which justice and equality are the two. It guarantees the equality of status and of opportunities to every citizen weather a man or women. It ensures social, economic and political justice to everyone.

2.     ARTICLE 14

This article comes under the fundamental rights of the people of India. it guarantees equality before law emphasizing gender equality in all legal and state actions. It also guarantees equal protection of law. In the case of AIR INDIA V. NARGESH MEERZA 1981, an inclusive reading of article 14 was done in this case and it was said that employment can not be denied to any person on the grounds of gender or sex.  

3.     ARTICLE 15[1]

This article prohibits discrimination on the ground of sex or gender which ensures gender equality.

4.     ARTICLE 15[3]

It enables affirmative actions to be taken for the benefit of women and children.

5.     ARTICLE 16

This article ensures equality of opportunity in public employment irrespective of gender.

6.     ARTICLE 39[a] &[d]

It ensures the principal of equal pay for equal work and an equal means of livelihood for both genders weather men or women.

7.     ARTICLE 21 A

This article makes education the fundamental right for every child between the age of 6-14 years of age.

8.     Article 42

This article advocates for just and humane working  conditions and maternity reliefs.

9.     73rd and 74th amendments

Provided for reservations of seats  in local bodies for women ensuring their participation in in grassroot level governance.

10.  THE EQUAL REMUNERATION ACT 1976

According to this act the employer must give equal pay or remuneration to both men and women for same work. No employer can while recruiting, training or transfer for the same work discriminate between men and women.

11.  CRIMINAL LAWS AMENDMENT ACT 2013

This amendment was bought on the recommendation of the Verma committee report. It added offences like acid attack, sexual harassment, stalking etc. which have been added even to the Indian penal code.

12.  SEXUAL HARASSMENT OF WOMEN AT WORK PLACE ACT  2013

This issue was first raised in the Vishakha case. Sexual harassment of women at work place violates the fundamental rights mentioned in article 14, 15 and 21 of the constitution of India.

13.  THE WOMEN RESERVATION BILL

This is a pending bill which reserves 30% of the seats for women in the lower house or Lok Sabha and all legislative assemblies. This is still not voted by the Rajya Sabha.

14.  THE DOWERY PROHIBITION ACT OF 1961

This act prohibits taking or giving of dowery in consideration of marriage. The person caught doing the same shall be punished with imprisonment or fine.

 

 

DISCRIMINATION AT GROUND LEVEL

The most common site which we see where there is inequality between boys and girls and men and women is at home. From the childhood of children we teach children that you are a girl you have to play with kitchen set and barbie dolls, and you are a boy and you have to play with cars and guns. Wy can’t the girls play with guns and cars and boys with kitchen set and barbies. We have specified that this is for boys and this is for girls. Isn’t it inequality? Even now in 21st century  people discriminate between their two children boy and a girl. They educate their boy a lot, give what that child want, spend lots of money in his education and health. But when it comes to the education or health of a girl child then these people hesitate while spending money and do not want to spend much. Isn’t it clear inequality? Even the love and care of the family members differ when it comes to a boy and a girl. People think that boys are the pilers of their old age and the heirs and say that the girls are burden upon them but in today’s world the girls are equal as boys and can do everything which a boy can do and is no less than a boy. Another instance of inequality in household is that a boy can stay out of home till late night and no restrictions but a girl can not stay out of home at night she has to come back home early and there are thousands of restrictions on her like you have to dress like this, laugh like this, this that and what not. if this is not discrimination then what is this? Why is it that only women are told to cook and take care of the house and the men are told to work outside and earn money why can’t women also work outside and contribute to household and men can cook and take care of their own home. Why is it told that the favorite color of girls is pink and of boys is blue. Why it can’t be pink for boys and blue for girls?  Why there is so specification and difference between a boy and a girl. Gender inequality can never be abolished unless the inequality in the ground level that is the home is abolished thus a big change can be bought from a small step in your home. 

 

GENDER INEQUALITY  IN WORK PLACE

Gender inequality  is not only seen in the household but also in the work place. There are many instances of the same. First the females are not allowed to cope up with males and are always kept as inferior to men even if they are more capable. Secondly women are given unequal pay than man for the same work done. Thirdly women are often denied promotions just because of their gender and thus are not able to achieve success in life and grow. Fourthly women frequently face misbehavior in the work place and harassment often from their seniors. Weather it be home or office the women are discriminated from man and are not given equal opportunities to grow even after hundreds of laws made.

These are not only the two spheres of life where women face inequality in their life. There are hundreds of such inequalities which still exists like there are specifications made that this job is best for a women and this is best for a men. And both should comply with the same. Like women should only do household chores and creative fields like dance where as boys should go in sports, business and all. Girls should do cooking and boys should not participate in these chores. Women are seen as objects or property of the males and are objectified as the same in many movies.

 

CONCLUSION

Talking about gender equality and giving long speeches on the same is not enough the thing which will bring a change is action. If people will take small actions at the ground level then only a big change can be bought. All these laws like dowery prohibition, articles of the constitution etc. are useless unless the mentality of the people of our country change and they start respecting the women as goddesses, just praying the goddess for the sake of name is not enough. There are so many crimes happening in the country against the women like sexual harassment, rape, domestic violence, acid attack etc. will abolish if the men start respecting the women. India has ranked 127 out of 146 in terms of gender parity in 2023, so still India have to develop and grow in terms of gender equality. One thing to be remembered is that a country is he most developed and wealthiest if the women are respected the most in the country.

 


 

GENDER INEQUALITY:  AN ENDLESS  PHENOMENA

 

 

It starts as you enter into this world,

and ends when you go from this world.

If a boy is born parties are thrown,

if a girl is born she is either killed or no celebrations are held.

Boys are told to play with cars, bats and balls;

where girls are told to play with kitchen sets and Barbie dolls.

Girls are associated with pink and red colour,

where boys with blue and green colour.

This is gender inequality.

 

When they grow up and become youth;

girls are taught to behave in a ladylike way,

boys are left free to act out their own way.

Boys are told to go in sports,

and girls are told to go into creative fields or do household chores.

Lakhs of rupees are spent on boys for education and their growth,

but when it comes to girls the same people hesitate.

There are thousands of restrictions put on girls,

and no or less on boys.

This is gender inequality.

 

When they are married or are employed;

women are perceived as natural nurturers,

men are natural leaders.

Women getting unequal pay for same work than men,

women are being kept in lower positions and not getting support.

Even after the death of spouse;

man is expected to move on and remarry,

but a woman is expected to stay there and not allowed to remarry.

This is gender inequality.

 

Why women in household or anywhere treated as inferior to men?

Why such specifications are made?

Why such differentiations are made?

Why such limitations are made?

Answer to these why maybe;

no one objects it

or no one acts on it.

These social and constitutional laws are useless as a paper without pen,

unless the mentality is changed and actions are taken against.

 

Let's break free from the shackles of the past,

and create a future that will forever last.

Where gender equality is not just a dream,

but in reality a world where all can gleam.

 

So let us rise, let our voices ring;

for gender inequality is endless.

With unity and strength, we will overcome.

And build a new world where equality is firm.

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1 Comment


Shivanshi
Shivanshi
May 23

It's so inspirational. Love your blog.

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