Written by:Adv. Pooja Gupta

Women Rights under the Constitution of India

WOMEN RIGHTS As per the U.N report published in 1980, Women establish half of the world’s total population and work nearly two-thirds of the time. They acquire one-tenth of the world’s income and own less than 100% percent of the world’s wealth.

In the case of, Madhu Krishnan vs State of Bihar

S.C, observed, that women made up half of India’s population. In India, women are always discriminated against by men, silently rejected, and stigmatize. Self-sacrifice & self-denial are their nobility and strength, fortitude (courage in pain) but they are still discriminated against and humiliated by men

Indian law  Contains certain provisions in the constitution of India, 1950 relating to women lays down special provisions for development and the welfare of women in all areas of life.

Now lets we discuss the certain rights and provisions which are given in the preamble for the development of women. As we know the preamble is key to the constitution. It does not discriminate towards (both) men and women however treats them alike.

In India, the history of oppression (ending violence) against women is long and very old and responsibilities include general and specific provisions aimed at improving and developing the position of women, and some rights are specifically defined in the Indian Constitution for the rights and interests of women.

Undoubtedly, the preamble to the Indian Constitution of 1950 contained several goals, including “equal status and equal opportunity” for all citizens. The major intention turned into to make sure identical possibilities for (both)men and women

Woman’s Rights under Fundamental Rights (F.R)

Part III of the Indian constitution, Art. 12-35 deals with the basic rights, that apply to all citizens in spite of their gender. However, some provisions were furnished for the safety of women’s rights. A woman shall now no longer be refused a process simply due to the fact she is a woman.

In Air India vs. Nargesh Meerza

It’s a landmark judgment the apex court held that a woman should not be denied employment just because she is a woman as its amounts to a violation of art.14 of the Indian constitution.

Beauty Pageant: Whether it is a Violation of Constitutional Provisions

This question was put in C.Rajakumari v/s The Hyderabad Police Commissioner of the Andhra Pradesh high court, which ruled that if a woman is depicted indecently in a beauty pageant, describing figure, the shape, the body, or part of it in any way that is indecent, derogatory (showing a critical or disrespectful attitude) to or degrading women, or likely to deprive, corrupt, and injure the public ethics and morality would violate of the provisions of the indecent and obscene representation of women (prohibition) act, 1986 and would also unconstitutional because it violates Art. 14, 21 & 51A of the Indian constitution.

Women’s Rights under (D.P.S.P) Directive Principals of State Policy

The D.P.S.P under the Indian constitution reflects the government’s belief that India is a democratic well-being state. This policy provides for equal employment rights, equal pay for equal work, adequate means for a dignified and decent life for men and women, which is guaranteed by the D.P.S.P Part iv of the constitution consists under Art.38, 39(a), (d) & (e), 42, 44 & 45 which address the well-being and development of women.

As required by U/A39(a), the State must direct its policy to ensure the equal right to decent livelihood for citizens, men, and women. In this article, all citizens, regardless of gender, have equal rights and a decent livelihood.

As required under Art. 39(d) of the constitution, the state is constitutionally duty-bound to direct its policies in such a way as to pay equal wages ought to procure each (men and women) for equal work.

Uniform Civil Code (U.C.C) – Equality, Justice, and Gender

Article 44 requires the state to strive to achieve U.C.C. for citizens throughout India. however, women continue to face inequalities and injustice.

In a landmark judgment in Sarla Mudgal versus U.O.I

The Supreme court (S.C) has passed directions to the Central Government to review Art. 44 of the Constitution which permits the state to guarantee a uniform civil code (U.C.C). According to the court, it is imperative and essential for the protection of the oppressed and for the promotion of public solidarity and integrity.

The above guidelines and rules were given by the court in the case of examining the question of whether a Hindu wedded spouse under Hindu Law, converted to Islam, without dissolving/breakdown the first marriage, after he can solemnize a subsequent marriage. It has been held by the apex court that such a marriage will be unlawful and the husband can be prosecuted for Bigamy u/s 494 of the Indian Penal Code,1860.

In the prevailing scenario, the court continues to hold that a “Hindu marriage” continue to exist even after one of the spouses converted to ‘Islam’ and must be dissolved by a decree of divorce on any of the reasons referenced in Section 13 of (H.M.A) Act, and there is no direct dissolution of Hindu marriage.

Subsequently, the second marriage of a Hindu after his conversion to Islam was void within the significance and meaning of Section 494 I.P.C. 1860 and the husband was liable to be prosecuted for bigamy.

Article 243 of the Constitution of India

In 1994 the Gujarat regions ruled (reservation of Sc\St \backward class and women for the office of the president) Rules 2 & 3 provides that a district president’s reservation are subject to a specific set of reservation. Whether or not they were elected as members of the reserved seat or not, would be competent to stand for the office of president.

Right of Women to make reproductive decisions

In the case of Suchita Srivastava versus Chandigarh Administration

The Supreme Court ruled that a woman’s right to make a reproductive health decision is also an aspect of “Individual Freedom” U/A 21 of the constitution of India, 1950. However, the reproductive choice can be exercised for both reproduction and cessation of reproduction. Reproductive choices should not be restricted for e.g. a Woman’s Right to refuse sexual activities or to insist on contraception methods.

The court ruled that reproductive rights include the right of women to surrogacy, to give birth, and then raise a child. In inclusion, The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (M.T.P) act, 1971 can even be viewed as a reasonable restriction placed on the exercise of procreative choices.


Article 16 of the Indian Constitution

Right to Life under Article 21 in the Fundamental Right

Right to Constitutional remedies under the Constitution of India

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