We live in a world where goddesses are worshiped every single day. But women get tamed, abused, harassed, raped and even kidnapped. This Women’s Day, ShaadiWish aims to make you self-reliant, aware and strong enough to take over the world single-handedly with some basic rights laid down by the Indian Constitution. Ladies, awareness about your basic rights will only make you smart and just. Remember that only if you are aware of your rights, can you fight against any injustice meted out to you at home, at the workplace, or in society.

So, ladies don’t be oppressed, know your rights and claim them because when one woman stands up for herself, she stands up for all the women.

Take A Note Of These 12 Basic Rights That Every Indian Woman Should Be Aware Of:

1.     Right Against Arrest

According to section 46(4) of CrPC, a woman cannot be arrested after sunset and before sunrise. Under exceptional circumstances, a woman’s arrest can only be made by the woman police officer after the prior permission of Judicial Magistrate 1st Class. Also, as per section 160 of CrPC, women of any age cannot be called to the police station. Her statements can only be recorded at the place she resides in the presence of a women constable and her family members.

2.     Women Have A Right To Zero FIR

An FIR that can be filed at any police station irrespective of the location where the incident occurred or a specific jurisdiction it comes under, the Zero FIR can later be moved to the Police Station in whose jurisdiction the case falls under. This rule was passed by the Supreme Court to save the victim’s time and prevent an offender from getting away scot-free.

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3.     Right To Get Free Legal Aid

As per section 12(c) of the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987, any aggrieved woman is eligible to get free legal aid despite her financial status.

12 Basic Rights That Every Indian Woman Should Know!

4.     Right Against Dowry

Dowry system which means giving and taking of dowry by bride or groom or by their parents at, before or after the marriage is penalized by Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The Act defines ‘dowry’ as any property or valuable security given or agreed to be given either directly or indirectly by one party to the other. However, it does not include dower or mahr in the case of persons to whom the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) applies.

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5.     Protection Of Women From Domestic Violence Act

Every woman is entitled to the right against Domestic Violence with her by virtue of the enactment of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act in 2005. Domestic Violence includes within its ambit not only physical abuse but also mental, sexual, and economic abuse.

12 Basic Rights That Every Indian Woman Should Know!

6.     Right To Safe Abortion

According to section 3(4) of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971, a girl who has not reached the age of 18 has the right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy legally with the consent of her guardians. Whereas an adult woman, whether married or not, can terminate her pregnancy up to 20 weeks when the continuation of pregnancy becomes a risk to her life or harmful to her health.

7.     Equal Share In The Property

Under the act provisions of section 6 were amended whereby women were entitled to equally coparcenary rights as sons. It means they will get an equal share in their ancestral property as the son will get. This amendment put an end to the years-long discrimination against the daughters.

8.     Right To Maintenance

According to the Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, a married woman is entitled to get maintenance from her husband even after her divorce till she doesn’t remarry. Maintenance includes the basic necessities of life like food, shelter, clothes, education, health care facilities etc. depending on the standard of living of the wife and circumstances and income of the husband.

Under the aforesaid section, any Indian woman irrespective of her caste and religion can claim maintenance from her husband. The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 also facilitates maintenance but to Hindu women only. Whereas, the Dissolution of Muslim Marriage Act, 1939 covers only Muslim women. 

9.     Women Have The Right Against Being Stalked

Section 354D of the IPC makes way for legal action to be taken against an offender if he/she follows a woman, tries to contact her to foster personal interaction repeatedly despite a clear indication of disinterest; or contact her through the cyber world (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) or any other form of electronic communication.

12 Basic Rights That Every Indian Woman Should Know!

10. Basic Right To Equal Pay

The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 ensures payment of equal wages for work of same and similar nature to male and female workers and for not making discrimination against female employees in the matters of transfers, training and promotion etc.

11. Right Against Female Foeticide

The Indian government has passed Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PCPNDT) in 1994 to ban and punish prenatal sex screening and female foeticide. The law seeks to prohibit the misuse of a prenatal diagnostic technique to detect the gender of an unborn child. It also prohibits such sex-determination techniques from being advertised. According to the PCPNDT Act in 1994, the determination of the gender of an unborn child becomes illegal, which reduces the mortality of female fetuses in the womb.

12. Right to Get Maternity Leave

The Maternity Benefit Amendment Act, 2017, amends the Maternity Benefit Act, 1987. This new amendment provides:

  • 26 weeks maternity leave for the first 2 children.
  • 12 weeks maternity leave for more than 2 children.
  • 12 weeks maternity leave for such women who adopt children below the age of 3 months.

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