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LEGAL PROTECTIONS OF WOMEN UNDER THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA

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LEGAL PROTECTIONS OF WOMEN UNDER THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA, A DISSERTATION SUBMITTED TO THE DIBRUGARH UNIVERSITY AS A PARTIAL FULFILMENT FOR B.A.LL.B DEGREE, 2010 BY SHRI TEZOSWIE DOWARAH, CENTRE FOR JURIDICAL STUDIES DIBRUGARH UNIVERSITY 2010
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LEGAL PROTECTIONS OF WOMEN
UNDER THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA









DISSERTATION SUBMITTED TO THE DIBRUGARH
UNIVERSITY
AS A PARTIAL FULFILMENT FOR
B.A.LL.B DEGREE, 2010






SHRI TEZOSWIE DOWARAH
CENTRE FOR JURIDICAL STUDIES
DIBRUGARH UNIVERSITY
2010


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

The role that women play in society is becoming increasingly more important.
Their proper development is essential to the functioning of the nation. There is no
doubt that we are in the midst of a great revolution in the history of women. The
evidence is everywhere; the voice of women is increasingly heard in Parliament,
courts and in the streets. Indian experience provides cautionary tales and constructive
insights that may prove useful to those who advocate the incorporation of women‘s
rights into the scheme of constitutional law. The Indian Constitution contains the most
explicit constitutionalization of women‘s rights. It is no accident that the Indian
Constitution singles out women for special protections. The Constitution of India
guarantees equality of sexes and in fact grants special favours to women through
Article 14, 15(3) and 16.
As a part of B.A.LL.B., Course, I had the opportunity to work out a project on
legal protections of women under the Constitution of India‘. While I set the work in
operation, first, I had to take help of my guide Dinamoni Thakuria, Lecturer, Centre
for Juridical Studies, Dibrugarh University. I am very grateful to Dinamoni Thakuria
for his kind guidance and supervision on my performance. I am also grateful to
Professor M. N. Das, Director i/c, Centre for Juridical Studies, Dibrugarh University,
for his valuable suggestions. Moreover, I am also grateful to all the teaching
personnel who very frequently offered their suggestions to carry out the work. I am
also thankful to all those non-teaching staff of the Centre for Juridical Studies,
Dibrugarh University, for their encouraging words and keen interest and affection
shown to me from the beginning of the work.
I cannot keep apart expressing my thanks to the authors, editors and publishers
of the books, magazines, journals, newspapers etc. from where I collected required
information.
I must convey my gratitude to my parents for their encouragement and
assistance in completion of the work. I also express my thanks to the other members
of my family and my friends who helped me in each and every step towards the
completion of the work.
Tezoswie Dowarah


Centre for Juridical Studies
Dibrugarh University

Dinamoni Thakuria
Lecturer, Centre for Juridical Studies
Dibrugarh University, Dibrugarh, Assam


Ref:……………………………….

Date:
01-06-2010




Certified that Shri Tezoswie Dowarah, a student of 8th Semester of Centre for
Juridical Studies, Dibrugarh University, Dibrugarh, bearing Examination Roll No.
D.U. 58/06 and Registration No. 00829 of 2006-2007 of Dibrugarh University, has
carried out the work entitled ―LEGAL PROTECTIONS OF WOMEN UNDER THE
CONSTITUTION OF INDIA‖, under my guidance. He has submitted the work to the
Dibrugarh University, Dibrugarh, as a partial fulfillment for B.A.LL.B Degree, 2010.
To the best of my knowledge, this dissertation as a whole or any part thereof
has not been submitted to any other University or institution for any other degree or
diploma.



(Dinamoni Thakuria)
Lecturer,
Centre for Juridical Studies,
Dibrugarh University



CONTENTS


Page

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT





I
Chapter- I
INTRODUCTION




01-07
1.1
Background to the Study




01
1.2
Justification





03
1.3
Objectives of the Study




04
1.4
Scope of the Study





04
1.5
Research Methodology




04
1.6
Organization of the Study




06
Chapter- II HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENTOF
WOMEN’S RIGHTS




08-27
2.1
Feminism






08
2.2
Women‘s Rights and its Development


12
2.3
The United Nations and Women‘s Rights


18
2.4
Women in India





22
Chapter- III WOMEN’S CONSTITUTIONAL AND
HUMAN RIGHTS




28-71
3.1
Constitutional Provisions in India



29
3.2
Women‘s Rights are Human Rights


45


Chapter- IV OTHER LEGISLATIVE MEASURES ON
PROTECTION OF WOMEN RIGHTS IN INDIA
72-157
4.1
Personal Rights relating to Women


72
4.2
Women and Industrial Law



125

4.3
Women and Criminal Laws



135

4.4
Jurisdictional Procedural Protection of Women

154
Chapter- V GOVERNMENT’S INITIATIVES TOWARDS
WOMEN EMPOWERMENT



158-176
5.1
National Commission for Women



158
5.2
National Policy for the Empowerment of Women (2001)
168
5.3
Women‘s Reservation Bill India



175
Chapter- VI CRITICAL STUDY ON WOMEN PROTECTION
MEASURES IN INDIA




177-189
Chapter- VII SUGGESTION AND CONCLUSION


190-197

BIBLIOGRAPHY







198-199









CHAPTER - I
INTRODUCTION

1.1
Background to the Study
It is a fact of nature that women are on the average physically weaker than
men. Moreover, they pay the physical price for perpetuating the human species;
during their child-bearing and child nurturing years they are especially weak and
vulnerable. It seems that an advanced civilization would compensate women for these
physical differences and responsibilities by granting those superior rights, including
higher wages for equal work.
At present, women have become sex objects and are widely treated as interior
to men in different spheres of life. In the rural areas, wife-beating, torture of
unmarried daughters, sisters and other female relatives is common phenomenon. Girls
are perceived as a burden on the family, because of the huge amounts of money
required for their weddings. Girls are generally not encouraged to take up even middle
or higher education. There is huge discrimination between men and women in the
sphere of education and the reason attributed to such gender bias is the feeling of
people that girls should be confined to the house.
Humiliation, harassment, torture and exploitation of women is as old as is the
history of family life. In India, women are way ahead of women elsewhere in the
matter of social legislation but the implementation of laws granting rights to women
has been so slow, lopsided and haphazard that socially, economically and politically
women lag far behind men.
The role that women play in society is becoming increasingly more important.
Their proper development is essential to the functioning of the nation. There is no
doubt that we are in the midst of a great revolution in the history of women. The
evidence is everywhere; the voice of women is increasingly heard in Parliament,
courts and in the streets. While women in the West had to fight for over a century to
get some of their basic rights, like the right to vote, the Constitution of India gave
women equal rights with men from the beginning. Unfortunately, women in this
country are mostly unaware of their rights because of illiteracy and the oppressive

tradition. Names like Kalpana Chawla: The Indian born, who fought her way up into
NASA and was the first women in space, and Indira Gandhi: The Iron Woman of
India was the Prime Minister of the Nation, Beauty Queens like Aishwarya Rai and
Susmita Sen, and Mother Teresa are not representative of the condition of Indian
women.
Indian experience provides cautionary tales and constructive insights that may
prove useful to those who advocate the incorporation of women‘s rights into the
scheme of constitutional law. The Indian Constitution contains the most explicit
constitutionalization to date of women‘s rights. It is no accident that the Indian
Constitution singles out women for special protections. The Constitution of India
guarantees equality of sexes and in fact grants special favours to women through
Article 14, 15(3) and 16.
All these are fundamental rights. Therefore, a woman can go to the court if
one is subjected to any discrimination. When we talk about constitutional rights of
women in India, we mainly pertain to those areas where discrimination is done against
women and special laws formulated to fight those bigotries. The most important
issues stand as those pertaining to marriage, children, abortion, crimes against
women, and inheritance. Directed and guided by the Constitution various
revolutionary laws giving equal status to women with men have been enacted in order
to remove all disparities, dissimilarities and discriminations against women, for
instance, the Equal remuneration Act, 1976, the National Commission for women
Act, 1990 which has been entrusted with the task of presenting to the Central
Government, the problems of women, the deprivation of their rights, and report as to
their progress and development.
Various protection measures have been enacted and enforced, such as the
Commission of Sati Prevention Act, 1987, Indecent Representation of Women
(Prohibition) Act, 1986, Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, Muslim Women‘s (Protection
of Rights of Divorce) Act, 1986, Suppression, of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls
Act, 1956, the Family Court Act, 1984 Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, Indian
Penal Code, 1860, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, Indian Evidence Act, 1872,
Industrial laws, Personal laws etc.

Crimes like rape, kidnapping, eve teasing and indecent exposure can be
grouped as crimes against women. There are many women in India, who are caught in
these types of violence. Thus, there are a number of laws to protect women, but what
is the use of having these laws when no one follows them? In fact, the people whose
business it is, to enforce these laws are the ones who publicly flout them. Besides, not
many women are conversant with law and few are aware of the rights and privileges
accorded to them by the constitution. So they suffer all forms of discrimination,
passively. It is high time to make critical assessment of the available legal protection
conferred by the Constitution and other statutes to the women and their proper
implementation.

1.2
Justification
Indian women treated as second citizens in India, though the principle of
gender equality is enshrined by the country‘s Constitution.
It is claimed that from the Fifth Five Year Plan (1974-78) onwards, there has
been a marked shift in the approach to women‘s issues from welfare to
development. Whether there has been any shift in the approach of women
welfare to women development as aimed? Besides, is there any significant
change in the status of rural women after the Fifth Five Year Plan?
Laws such as the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, Sati Prevention Act,
Dowry Prohibition Act and Indecent Representation of Women (Prevention)
Act, Domestic Violence Act protect women from the more ―traditional‖
crimes such as rape, abduction, dowry, torture, molestation, sexual harassment
and selling of girls into slavery. But, it is seen that these Acts failed to restrict
these social crimes completely.
Only 50% of Indian women are literate as compared to 65.5% men.
Women generally earn a far lower wage than men doing the same work.

The National Commission for women has no concrete legislative powers. It
only has the powers to recommend amendments and submit reports which are
not binding on state or Union Governments.
The Commission does not have the power to select its own members. This
power is vested with the Union Government and in India‘s volatile political
scenario the Commission may be politicized.
It is essential to address these problems, so that, this Research-Work can be
done with proper justification.

1.3
Objectives of the Study
1. To know and analyze the present position of women in India and their rights
conferred by Constitution of India and other legislative measures.
2. To explore the main causes in increasing the crimes against women in India.
3. To understand the existing law in India pertaining to combat such crimes.
4. To know where the government machinery is failed to control the same.


1.4
Scope of the Study
This study may contribute meaningfully in creating awareness among the
women about their rights and privileges accorded by the Constitution. Nevertheless,
the study may help in the development of further research activity/ works in this field
which could help in motivating the thinking of Indian society. Although, due to the
very nature of the course curriculum the work may not be able to do justice in
developing a full proof action plan, effort has been made to study precisely all the
relevant parameters as much as possible and to suggest some recommendations to
overcome the problems relating to women.
1.5
Research Methodology
Legal research is defined as the process of identifying and retrieving
information that is required for supporting legal decision-making. It can be performed
by lawyers, law librarians, paralegals or anyone who wants legal information. This

legal information can be collected from printed books, online legal research websites
and information portals that can be accessed.
Legal research generally involves:
 Finding primary authority (cases, statutes, regulations)
 Finding secondary authority about a specific legal topic
 Finding non-legal sources for supporting information.
Method is the way of doing something. Methodology is the science or study of
a particular subject. Research methodology is a systematized investigation to gain
new knowledge about the phenomena or problems. It provides standards which the
researcher uses for integrating data and reaching conclusions.
There are many different approaches to doing legal research and there is no
hard and fast rule to be followed while doing legal research. Method adopted the
preparation of B.A. LL.B. degree thesis on the subject ‗Legal Protection of Women
under the Constitution of India‘, comprises the following:
Primary Sources: These are the opinions on several persons involving in this
particular field, identify all the facts and details of the people, place, and the
acts involved besides familiarizing oneself with the related jargon. A proper
understanding of all issues that is to be got via the research has to be made at
the outset itself. Also one must identify the different legal theories, procedures
and know about the specific relief that is being sought.
Secondary Sources: These consist of material collected from research article,
journal, books, and internet etc.
The research is both Empirical and Doctrinal.
Doctrinal Research: A Doctrinal Research means a research that has been
carried out on a legal proposition or propositions by way of analyzing the existing
statutory provisions and cases by applying the reasoning power.
The doctrinal legal research attempts to verify the hypothesis by a firsthand
study of authoritative source. It should know how to use the law library, for the major

Document Outline

  • First Wave
  • Second Wave
    • Ancient Civilizations
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    • Early Reforms under Islam
    • The Middle Age
    • 19th Century
    • Ancient India
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  • The seats to be reserved in rotation will be determined by draw of lots in such a way that a seat shall be reserved only once in three consecutive general elections.
  • Women get 33% reservation in gram panchayat and municipal elections. There is a long-term plan to extend this reservation to parliament and legislative assemblies. In addition, women in India get reservation or preferential treatments in education and...
  • Possible benefits:
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