Ten essential legal rights every Indian woman must know


As we grow into an economic and political powerhouse in the international arena, the rights and opportunities that have been provided for all of us in the Constitution are also gaining prominence. Additionally, women have taken the centre stage by gradually moving into the workforce and getting career-oriented. However, mental, physical and sexual harassment, misogyny and gender inequality continue to be a way of life for most of them. It is in this context that her awareness of the legal rights, mandated by Indian law, gains significance.

1. Right to equal pay

According to provisions under the Equal Remuneration Act, one cannot be discriminated on the basis of sex when it comes to salary or wages.

2. Right against harassment at work

The enactment of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act gives you the right to file a complaint against sexual harassment.

3. Right to anonymity

Victims of sexual assault have a right to anonymity. To ensure that her privacy is protected, a woman who has been sexually assaulted may record her statement alone before the district magistrate when the case is under trial, or in the presence of a female police officer.

4. Right against domestic violence

The act primarily looks to protect a wife, a female live-in partner or a woman living in a household like a mother or a sister from domestic violence at the hands of a husband, male live-in partner or relatives. She or anybody on her behalf, can file a complaint.

5. Right to maternity-related benefits

Maternity benefits are not merely a privilege of the working woman, they are a right. The Maternity Benefit Act ensures that the new mother does not suffer any loss of earnings following a period of twelve weeks after her delivery, allowing her to rejoin the workforce.

6. Right against female foeticide

It is a duty imposed on every citizen of India to allow a woman to experience the most basic of all rights ­— the right to life. The Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act (PCPNDT) ensures her right against female foeticide.

7. Right to free legal aid

All female rape victims have the right to free legal aid, under the Legal Services Authorities Act. It is mandatory for the Station House Officer (SHO) to inform the Legal Services Authority, who arranges for the lawyer.

8. Right not to be arrested at night

A woman cannot be arrested after sunset and before sunrise, except in an exceptional case on the orders of a first class magistrate.

9. Right to dignity and decency

In the event that an accused is a woman, any medical examination procedure on her must be performed by or in the presence of another woman.

10. Right to property

The Hindu Succession Act allows women and men equal share in inheritance, thereby setting new rules and regulations.

Source - Daily O

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