An Ephemeral Study on Protection of Women and Human Rights

An Ephemeral Study on Protection of Women and Human Rights

Sirisha Isakalapalli*

Nymisha Kemburu**

ABSTRACT

This Paper focuses on Protection of Women Rights. Women rights are part of the Human Rights. In Earlier days, women used to live in a patriarchal society and there were no laws, specifically for the protection of women rights. But, as society gradually developed, the role of the women in the society has changed. But, now in the present society there were many organisations formed for women in different countries to protect their rights and to promote their empowerment. Now, Women play an important role in the society. They are equal to that of the men. They are industrialists, businessman, home maker etc. and what not; they play a multi-tasking role. They contribute and sacrifice their lives for the society, but they are often neglected and led to discrimination. Though there are several laws to protect them, the crimes against them are increasing day by day, such as sexual offences, domestic violence, discrimination, etc. Still, there are so many feminists, who are fighting for the protection of women. Education, Evaluation and Empowerment together are key roles for a woman to protect herself. The main objective of this paper is to study the violence faced by the women and the rights, which are available for a woman to protect herself from these violence.

Introduction

Human rights are the fundamental rights, which are inherited in the human person. In the present society, both men and women are entitled to these rights equally without any discrimination. But, even though there are rights available for them, women are still facing some serious problems like domestic violence, sexual crimes, discrimination, etc.[1] So, there is a need to protect the rights of the women. Women have an important role in the society. They have an equal contribution to that of men in the progress of the society. Despite that, they are put to certain limitations and are not treated equally. Women play a multiple role in the society as a mother, care taker, home maker, and business man and also as industrialists etc.[2] But, they are often seen as the persons, who are uneducated and emotional. It was felt all over the world that there is a need to protect their interests and rights to empower them.

UN Action plan on Gender Equality and Empower Woman

United Nations has started eight millennium development goals in 2000, in which one of them is to promote gender equality and empower woman, preferably, by 2005, and also formed conventions such as The Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) adopted in 1979 by the UN General Action, to end discrimination against women. Violation of Women Rights: Women rights are often violated, there has been many violence committed against women in the society, they are:

  • Domestic violence: It is to be said that 1 out of every 3 women in the world are victims of the domestic violence. Domestic violence is the abuse or violence caused to the women by her husband or in laws family. It may be either, physical, sexual, or emotional. During the novel corona virus break down, when the world is in lockdown it has been said that there is 25% of increase of cases of domestic violence.
  • Female foeticide/infanticide: This is one of the serious problems, where killing or aborting an unborn baby or killing the baby after born because of gender, only reason for this is, she is a girl. Every day in the newspaper, there will be at least, one or two cases of female foeticide and infanticide, which is, a girl baby has been thrown at the road side or left beside the canal. In 2012, in the documentary: It’s a Girl the Three Deadliest Words in the World was released, in one of the interview; an Indian woman claimed that she had killed eight of her daughters.
  • Women trafficking: It is where women and girls were forced and sold to other countries for the purpose of sexual exploitation such as prostitution, pornography or forced labour etc.
  • Dowry death: When a woman dies because of abuse from husband or in- laws family, in respect to dowry, it is said to be dowry death. Despite, though dowry is prohibited, but we can see many cases of dowry deaths in our daily lives. According to United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC), six women were being killed every hour, by people they know.
  • Sexual Harassment at Work Place: This is one of the detrimental problems, found everywhere, where women are sexually harassed at offices which leads to a psychological and mental depression in them and also compels her to leave the job.
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Constitutional safeguards

Constitution of India provides many rights to the women, which improve the status of the women in the society, some of them are:

  • All individuals along with women should be treated equal. There should be no discrimination on the basis of gender, colour, caste, creed etc.[3]
  • It provides for equal opportunities for all individuals in public employment.[4]
  • Every citizen has a right to freedom of speech and expression, and to assemble peacefully, without any arms, forms unions and associations, and, practice any trade, profession, business or occupation anywhere in the country.[5]
  • Every person/individual shall have a right to life and personal liberty. No person shall be deprived of his right to life and personal liberty.[6]
  • Prohibition of traffic in human beings[7] – In accordance with this Article the parliament has passed the Immoral trafficking (prevention) Act,1956, for punishing those persons who commits human trafficking.

Legislations

The Parliament of India has passed many legislations for the protection of women rights, some of them are:

  • Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961:[8] It prohibits both taking and giving of dowry. This act punishes those persons who tries to take dowry or abuses the women because of dowry and also punishes the persons who try to give the dowry.
  • Equal Remuneration Act, 1976:[9] This Act aims to prevent the discrimination between men and women regarding wages, hiring and promotion. This Act aims to provide equal pay for both women and men for similar work under similar conditions.
  • Family Court Act,1984:[10] Family courts should be established to settle the family disputes.
  • Maternity Benefit Act, 1954:[11] This Act permit women to take leave for 12 weeks with full pay, if the women are pregnant, then the employer should not dismiss or suspend her. Women can also take nursing leave until the child becomes 15 months old.
  • Indecent Representation of women(prevention) Act, 1986:[12] It prohibits the improper representation of women via any advertisements or in any online pages or in any writings, newspapers etc..
  • Constitutional 74th Amendment Act, 1994:[13] one-third of the seats shall be reserved to the women out of total seats in all the local bodies. However, some of the states such as Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, etc. have made that 50% of seats shall be reserved for women in panchayats.
  • They have the right to not to be arrested during night time.
  • They have the right to get free legal aid.
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International Organisations

Many organisations were formed to protect their rights:

  • International council for women (ICW), 1888[14]
  • National Organisation for Women (NOW),1966[15]
  • Women for Women International (WFWI), 1993[16]
  • National Council of Women of Canada (improve conditions of women ), 1857[17]
  • Association for the Protection and Defence of Women’s Rights in Saudi Arabia[18]
  • FEMEN, 2008[19]

Conclusion

We live in a society, where women were considered physically weaker than men and burden to the family. Therefore the problem here is with the mindsets of the people. A person should be seen as a person regardless of gender. There is a strong influence of some movies on people which leading to happening of the sexual crimes, also hormonal imbalance in youth tends them to commit these sexual crimes. To resolve these problems sex education should be made compulsory in schools for both girls and boys.[20] Education and legal literacy are necessary as they enable the persons to take decision wisely and to exercise their rights. Legal literacy creates a legal awareness among the people, so that they will have knowledge on the rights they have and can fight for the protection of their rights, when they are violated. In our Opinion, women should be mentally physically strong so that she could stand on herself and capable to fight for her rights so for that she should be educated. For this purpose awareness programmes should be conducted in rural areas, schools and colleges and we can also use the technology in many ways like advertising and announcements in bus stops, metro stations and through mobile applications etc.

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* 4/5 B.A.LL.B., Dr.B.R.Ambedkar College of Law, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam.

** 4/5 B.A.LL.B., Dr.B.R.Ambedkar College of Law, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam.

[1] Paul Marshall, Two Types of Rights, 25(4) Can. J. Political Sci. 661, 662 (1992).

[2] Eleanor Leacock, Women’s Status in Egalitarian Society: Implications for Social Evolution, 19(2) Curr. Anthropol. 247, 248 (1979).

[3] India Const. art. 14.

[4] India Const. art. 16.

[5] India Const. art. 19.

[6] India Const. art. 21.

[7] India Const. art. 23.

[8] The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, (Act No. 28 of 1961).

[9] It came into force on 8th March, 1976, vide notification No. S.O. 175(E), dated 6th March, 1976.

[10] The Family Courts Act, 1984, (Act No. 66 OF 1984).

[11] Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, (No. 53 of 1961).

[12] The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986, (Act No. 60 Of 1986).

[13] The Constitution (Seventy Forth Amendment) Act, 1992 has introduced a new part namely, Part IXA in the Constitution, which deals with the issues relating to municipalities.

[14] The International Council of Women was established as the first international women’s NGO in 1988.

[15] The National Organization for Women (NOW) is an American feminist organization founded in 1966.

[16] It support to women survivors of war and vision for this is to create a world in which all women determine the course of their lives & reach their full potential.

[17] A federation of nationally-organized societies of men and women and local and provincial councils of women. It is formed on October 27, 1893 in Toronto, Ontario and it is the Canadian member of the International Council of Women (ICW). The Council has concerned itself in areas including women’s suffrage, immigration, health care, education, mass media, the environment, and many others.

[18] It is a Saudi NGO founded to provide activism for women’s rights in 2007.

[19] FEMEN, as a movement, was founded in Ukraine in 2008 protesting against gender-biased inequalities and issues like sex tourism, poverty, patriarchy, etc.

[20] Lygia Gonçalves Costa Hryniewicz and Maria Amorim Vianna, Women and leadership: obstacles and gender expectations in managerial positions, 16(3) Cad. EBAPE.BR. 12, 17 (2018).

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