Every minute, a woman in India becomes the victim of a crime. Women are not safe, whether they are at work, at home, or in public. Given the amount of crimes done against them on a regular basis, women need to be aware of the laws that have been put in place to protect them.
You need to be aware of these rules since they were put in place to protect you as a person, employee, wife, parent, and daughter. The Constitution and the several Acts enacted by the federal government and the states provide women with further protection. The following 10 women’s safety rights are essential
knowledge for all women:
- Right Against Domestic Violence
Under Section 498 of the Indian Constitution, a woman who is a wife, female live-in partner, or a woman who shares a home with a man, like a mother or sister, is shielded from domestic violence (including verbal, economic, emotional, and sexual abuse) by her husband, male live-in partner, or family members. In addition to a maximum three-year non-bailable jail sentence, the offender will also be fined.
- Right to Free Legal Aid
Regardless of your ability to pay for independent legal counsel, women who have suffered injustice have the right to request free legal services from the legal services authority, as permitted under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987. Legal services are governed by district, state, and federal agencies, in that order. Legal services range from advising customers on legal issues to defending them in court or during other legal processes.
- Right Against Being Stalked
Legal action can be taken against an offender under Section 354D of the IPC if she is followed, if he persistently tries to establish personal contact with her in spite of his obvious lack of interest, or if he monitors her use of email, the internet, or any other electronic communication device.
- Right Against Dowry
The Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961 states that dowries cannot be given or accepted by parents of brides or grooms before, during, or following marriage. The definition of “dowry” under the Act is any property or valued security supplied or agreed to be granted by one party to the other, whether directly or indirectly. However, it expressly excludes dower or mahr in the case of individuals to whom the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) applies. You face a minimum of five years in prison and a fine of Rs. 15,000 if you give, accept, or help someone else give or take dowry.
- Right Against Workplace Harassment
Under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, a woman has the right to report any type of sexual harassment at her place of employment. After the act’s passage, she has three months to register a formal complaint with a branch office’s Internal Complaints Committee (ICC).
- Right of Private Defence
This is a defence-related right that you may exercise if defending your body or the body of another against an attacker puts you in danger of serious injury, death, or other serious harm. There are very few situations in which you can kill your attacker without fear of legal ramifications or punishment. These include situations when you believe your attacker is going to kill you, seriously harm you, rape you, abduct you, lock you in a room, or throw or attempt to hurl acid at you.
- Right to be not Arrested at Night
If there isn’t a compelling reason and a first-class magistrate approves the arrest, a woman cannot be held between the hours of dark and dawn. According to the legislation, a woman can only be questioned by the police at her residence if a female constable, her family, or friends are present.
- National Commission for Women Act, 1990
The National Commission for Women (NCW) is a statutory organisation of the Indian government that was founded in January 1992. Lalitha Kumaramangalam was selected to be its Chairperson in 2014. The NCW gives voice to the concerns and problems faced by Indian women and advocates for their rights. Women’s status and economic independence are promoted under the National Commission for Women Act.
- Right to Anonymity
The traditional expectation that they maintain the status of the family is the only thing keeping most Indian women from complaining. Everyone is therefore entitled to anonymity, but individuals who have experienced sexual assault or harassment particularly require it. A victim of sexual assault may, under Section 228(A) of the Indian Penal Code, make an anonymous statement in front of a female police officer or before the District Magistrate during a trial in order to protect her privacy.
- Women Safety in Night Shifts
Section 14 of the Delhi Shops and Commercial Establishment Act, 1954 states that no woman shall be allowed or required to work, whether as an employee or otherwise, in any establishment between the hours of 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. during the summer and between the hours of 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. during the winter. But it varies from state to state. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the safety and protection of female employees in the workplace.
As society and the world change, it is critical that women stay alert and conscious of their rights. The obligations placed on society, employers, and the legal system to guarantee the preservation of these rights are equally significant. India can actively work toward a more just and equal society where all women can live without fear or discrimination by actively promoting and defending women’s safety and rights.
- What legal steps can be taken if someone is being stalked?
Ans. Section 354D of the Indian Penal Code allows for legal action against stalkers (IPC). Despite the victim’s lack of interest, stalking involves following, making an effort to make personal contact, or keeping an eye on internet communication.
- How are women’s rights safeguarded by the Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961?
Ans. The Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961 prohibits parents of brides or grooms from providing or receiving dowries before, during, or following marriage. A minimum of five years in prison and a fine of Rs. fifteen thousand are the consequences of providing, receiving, or helping to give or take dowry.
- What prevents a woman from being arrested at night?
Ans. A woman cannot be taken into custody between the hours of midnight and dawn unless a first-class magistrate has authorised the arrest and there is a good justification for it. The rule states that a woman may only be questioned at home in the presence of a female constable, family member, or friend.
- What do you mean by Right to Free Legal Aid for Women?
Ans. Under the Legal Services Authorities Act of 1987, women who have experienced injustice are entitled to free legal services regardless of their financial capacity to hire a private attorney. These legal services, which vary from legal advice to legal representation in court or other legal proceedings, are offered by district, state, and federal agencies.