There is no dearth of customs and laws in this country that are not only outdated but also sexist and patriarchal. But did you know that there are laws that actually work towards the benefit of women? Here are 8 laws for Indian women that everyone should know about!
1. Women can only be stopped/ questioned/ taken to the police station in the presence of women officers
Only women officers can escort a woman in such circumstances. If female police officers are not present
, women cannot be taken away or questioned anywhere between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.
2. Women can lodge complaints through emails
Delhi Police guidelines make it clear that women can lodge a complaint via email or registered post
. If a woman can't go to the police station, she can send a written complaint via email or registered post.
3. Live-in relationships are not illegal
Contrary to popular belief, live-in relationships are completely legal. In fact women even have legal rights within such a relationship. Women in live-in relationships (in the nature of marriage), are accorded protection under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act
, 2005. A child born of such a union also has inheritance rights.
4. Women can’t be arrested at night
According to a Supreme Court ruling, women cannot be arrested after sunset and before sunrise
. Even if a female police constable is present, an arrest cannot be made, without written permission from a magistrate.
5. All places of employment must have a Sexual Harassment Complaints Committee
Work places are required to convene a sexual harassment complaints committee in accordance with the Vishakha Guidelines
. Female employees can sue their employers in the absence of such a committee.
6. Sex determination is illegal
Sex determination is prohibited by the Prohibition of Sex Selection Act
, which has been put in to place to check female foeticide and infanticide.
7. Maternity benefits are every woman’s right
The Maternity Benefit Act 1961
regulates employment of women during certain weeks prior to, and post delivery. It also entitles them to maternity benefits.
8. Women and men are entitled to equal pay
Working on the principle of ‘Equal Pay for Equal Work’, the Equal Remuneration Act, 1976
restricts discrimination on the basis of sex when it comes to salary or wage distribution.
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