Protection of Women under the Constitution of India

According to a report of the United Nations published in 1980-“Women constitute half of the world population, perform nearly two-thirds of works hours, receive one tenth of the world income and own less than one hundred percent of world’s property.”

The 26th January, 1950 was a red letter day in the history of India which is elongated and marked by fluctuations of fortune, when the Constitution was adopted by the Nation. It is the World’s longest written Constitution which is federal in nature. The Constitution of the world’s largest democracy is regarded as the Supreme Law of the land which affirms India as a sovereign, secular and democratic republic country. It pledges all its citizens, justice, equality and liberty thus making a triumphant endeavor to encourage fraternity amid them. It sets down the gibbet for defining key political principles, sets up the composition, procedures, authorities, and duties of government institutions, and sets out the fundamental rights, directive principles, and the duties of the citizens.

The preamble is the explanation to the Constitution which does not differentiate men and women rather treats them equally. The cultivators of the Constitution were well sentient of lopsided behavior meted out to the flaxen sex, since time immemorial. The history of containment of women is very old and long in India, which is conscientious for including general and special provisions for the upliftment and advancement of the condition of women. Certain provisions are specially premeditated for the benefit of women. Indubitably, the preamble affixed to the Constitution of India, enclose an assortment of objectives, most essentially “the equality of status and equal opportunity” to all its citizens. This objective has been interleaved with the vision to bestow equal position to men and women in stipulations of opportunity.

The Part III of the Constitution deals with the Fundamental rights, enshrined in Articles 12 to 35, which are applicable to all citizens irrespective of sex, caste, creed or religion. Nevertheless, certain provisions are incorporated with an intention to protect the rights of women. Article 15(1) of the Constitution prohibits gender discrimination. Article 15(3) provides that discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth shall not prevent the state from making any special provisions for women and children but such laws shall not be violative of Article 15. Article 15(3) hauls up that discomfiture and sanctions the state to positively show favoritism in errand of women to make special provisions to ameliorate social, economic and political conditions and concordat them equality. Making special seating provision for women in public transportation is in no ways unconstitutional. The Courts have always approved the validity of such special legislations rather special measures and these women and children tilting favorable legislations can be witnessed in the realm of Criminal Law. Article 19 to 22 covenant the right to freedom which includes freedom of speech, protection in respect of convictions of offences, protection of life and personal liberty and protection against arrest and detention. Article 23 provides protection against traffic of human beings and forced labour.

The Apex Court has elevated the status of working women in India and confirms that women shall not be denied a job merely because she is a woman. This was decided in a landmark case Air India vs. Nargesh Meerza AIR 1981 SC 1829. In another milestone case, Miss C.B. Muthamma vs. Union of India AIR 1979 SC 1868, the Hon’ble Supreme Court laid down that seniority promotion shall not be denied on the ground of sex. There are more than a few cases in point where the Hon’ble Supreme Court has elevated the status of women in India in accord with the Constitution of India. There are several statutes made by the state in the past as well as in the recent times for ufliftment and progress of the status of women in India. The makers of the Constitution has left no scope for criticism that the women of the world’s largest democracy has been neglected in terms of the sanctions guaranteed under the Constitution. Thus protecting and securing the dignity and integrity of women in India.

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