Several crimes are happening against women in India every minute. It is now time for us to be aware of the women protection act that preserves us and our rights. Awareness about these laws is essential since power comes with knowledge. There are rights placed to protect women as a parent, wife, daughter, employee, and, most importantly, as a woman. Hence, be mindful of the laws provided by the Government of India that protect women and their rights.
Ten Women Protection Act and Laws that you should know
Below are the ten women protection act and law that every woman should know:
1. The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006
As per the survey conducted by the Research Centre for Women, over 47% of girls are married before they turn 18. At present, India is on 13th rank globally for underage marriages. Furthermore, child marriages in India are hard to eliminate since it has been in traditions over centuries in India.
The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act became effective in the year 2007. It is a child marriage if the age of the bride and the groom is below 18 and 21. It is the definition of child marriage as per the law and women protection act.
Such marriages are illegal by-laws, and authorities are eligible to take actions against their parents for trying to marry their underage offsprings.
2. Special Marriage Act, 1954
This women protection act aims to provide a unique form of marriage that includes a particular type of marriage, registration, and divorce in some instances. For example, a couple from different religions and castes can choose to get married under the Special Marriage Act. The act also extends to people who are Indian by nationality but living abroad.
3. Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961
As per the women protection act, any dowry taking or giving at the wedding time to the bride or groom or their families is an offense. Since women move in with her groom and in-laws, the dowry system is deep-rooted in India. Over the centuries, many women get burned due to their economic dependence and taboo towards divorce. Many women are assaulted mentally and physically and even murdered by her spouse and in-laws if her family does not meet the dowry demands after marriage.
Dowry is one of the significant challenges that our society is currently tackling. Recently, women have started to complain about them openly, helping to spread the words while also encouraging other women to take a stand.
4. Indian Divorce Act, 1969
This women protection act aims to allow the dismissal of marriage, shared acquiescence, nullity of matrimony, constitutional severance, and reinstitution of marital rights. There are family courts that file, hear, and incline these cases.
5. Maternity Benefit Act, 1861
The aim of the Maternity Benefit Act is the regulation of women’s employment while ensuring maternity benefits as per the law. As per the women protection act, any woman who has worked in an organization entitles maternity benefits. Women must have worked for at least 80 days during 12 months scouting the date of her expected date for her entitlement. The benefits include maternity leave, nursing breaks, medical allowances, and the likes as per the Maternity Benefit Act.
6. Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971
The Medical Termination of Pregnancy was in effect since 1972, with amendments in the years 1975 and 2002. This women protection act aims to reduce the incidents of illegal abortion, consequent mortality, and maternal morbidity. The law includes the conditions regarding the termination. It also contains specifications about the qualification of the individuals for its conduct.
7. Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2013
This women protection act aims to ensure women’s safety and protect them from sexual harassment at the workplace as a part of the women protection act. Below are also the inclusions of workplace sexual harassment:
- Use of language with a sexual overtone
- invasion of private space. i.e., make colleague coming too close
- Subtle touches
8. Indecent Representation of Women(Prevention) Act,1986
This women protection act prohibits any indecent representation of women via ads or in publications, including writing, painting, figures, or any other manner.
9. National Commission for Women Act, 1990
The National Commission for Women or NCW, in short, is a statutory body of Indian Government. It was established in January 1992 by the Government India. This women protection act represents the women’s rights in India and provides then a voice for their issues and concerns. It aims to improve the status of Indian women and to work on their financial empowerment.
10. Equal Remuneration Act, 1976
This women protection act aims to prevent discrimination against women regarding the payment. It ensures equal pay among men and women workers.
Every woman in India should be aware of the women protection act and law, as mentioned above. The Indian Government places these laws and acts in the interest of women. However, we can only fight against injustice happening with us at the home, workplace, or in society if we are aware of our rights.