Constitutional Status of Women in India
Authored By : Syeda Khizra Rizvi
The rights provided to women in India can be characterized into two classes, to be specific as sacred rights and lawful rights. The established rights are those which are provided in the different arrangements of the constitution. The lawful rights, comes then again, are those which are given in the different laws (acts) of the Parliament and the State Legislatures. The basic principle of gender equality is enshrined in the Indian Constitution in its Preamble, Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties and Directive Principles. The Constitution while inheriting equality to women, also empowers the State to adopt measures of positive discrimination considering women. Under the gist of a democratic polity, our laws, development policies, Plans and programmed it's constituted to have aimed at women’s advancement in different spheres.
Keywords: Legitimate, constitution, legal rights, fundamental rights, directive principles.
Our Indian constitution was framed in an era when the social condition of Indian women was very poor and need an urgent reform. They were mentally and physically tortured in the society. Indian women were struggling to find her social status and a respectable place in the society. Due to the revolutionary changes brought by our constitution and efforts made by Indian women, they have earned & gained themselves a respectable position in the society. Now they are treated equally with men.
Constitutional provisions for women in India
Several provisions have been introduced through constitution to ensure dignity and self-respect to the women at large. Please find below some of the provisions made in favor of Indian women, in constitution of India respectively:
1. Article 14:- Article 14 of constitution of India secures equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India. This is a very vital provision which provides equal legal protection to women against any women-based crime. This provision also paves way for the introduction of various laws and acts to grant protection and enforcement of legal rights of women in India.
2. Article 15:- Article 15 of constitution of India ensures that no one should create any sort of discrimination only on the pretext of religion, caste, sex or place of birth, race, or any of them within the territory of India. At the time of Independence there was lots of discrimination in India against women which slowly abolished after introduction of article 15. As per article 15(3) of the constitution state has the authority to make any special provision for women and children consecutively.
3. Article 16:- Article 16 of constitution of India secures equal employment opportunity to every citizen of India. As per article 16 (The constitutional rights of women: cases in law and social changes;1992) there should not be any discrimination. As currently we can see women are doing really good work in politics and in corporate sector. Now they are holding responsible positions in Government and Government run institutions.
4. Article 39:- Article 39 of constitution of India conserves the benefit of the directive principles of state policy to the women. In the Directive principles of state policy (DPSP) mean following principles for the framing of laws by the government at state level. Further, article 39(a) of directive principles of state policy ensures and directs a state to apply policies which focus on a men and women have an equal right of adequate means of livelihood and article 39(c) ensures equal pay for equal work for both men and women respectively.
5. Article 42:- Article 42 of constitution of India caste a duty on every employer to make sure just and humane conditions of work and for maternity relief. The position and treatment of women in corporate offices is unpleasant and in fact they are exploited by their seniors and bosses. In this situation the provisions of article 42 are very important and now it is duty of employer to provide good working conditions to all the employees.
6. Article 243:- Article 243 of constitution of India protects reservation of seats in gram panchayat for women. This opportunity of being a part of local level arbitration process has improved the social conditions of women in rural areas. These are few rights which are given by our constitution to the Indian women in order to make sure their dignity and social respect.
Women’s rights are qualifications and flexibilities guaranteed for ladies and young women if any age in various social orders. In some cases, these rights are standardized or upheld by law, nearby custom, and conduct, while in others they might be overlooked or stifled. Presently, given the way that the quantity of women in India far dwarfs the aggregate populace of numerous nations, one would anticipate that the Indian women will be a socially solid and engaged class. Regardless of the standards of sexual orientation equity being revered in our constitution and in spite of the state being enabled to receive measures of positive separation to support them, women of India keep on bearing the brunt of societal segregation at times. Women in antiquated India delighted in meet status and rights with men in all fields of life; they were taught; they wedded at a standard age and were most likely allowed to pick their spouses. Notwithstanding endeavors to raise the economic wellbeing of Indian women’s for over a century, India still ranks 118 among 177 countries on sexual orientation value. Although child marriage has been restricted since 1860 and the Child Marriage Restraint Act was passed in 1929, it is yet a typical practice. The Indecent Representation of Women [Prohibition] Act was formulated in 1987. Nonetheless, a few rates of its violation do happen now and again. The insurance of Women Domestic Violence Act  came into constrain on October 26, 2006 (Women Domestic Violence Act, 2005). However, the frequency of aggressive behavior at home is higher in bring down financial classes respectively.