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Violence against women in India and the remedies as per the Indian Constitution - A Critical Analysis

This article will highlight the violence against women in India, the factors responsible for such violence, and the remedies available in the Constitution of India. The patriarchal mindset is inculcated in our minds for a very long time and unfortunately, it still persists, which results in the belief that one gender is superior to the other and this is one of the main reasons for increasing venom in our society. India is a developing nation and the happening of such incidents is highly derogatory in nature, affecting humanity.

It is extremely disappointing that in the place where goddesses like Durga and Kaali, the epitome of power and valour are worshipped, the women of such spiritual place are the victims of crime. She has power but she isn't aware of it because of various reasons, sometimes she isn't aware of her rights, and most of the sometimes she doesn't raise her voice due to the societal pressure, they are afraid that the reputation of her family will be downgraded and hence she never raises her voice for the wrong done. This article will critically analyse the plight of women by referring to certain data., case laws, and Constitutional provisions, that exclusively deals with women.

Introduction
The concept of violence is in existence for a long time. But now it has become more prevalent and is increasing day by day. Despite deterrence against it and awareness, the situation is getting grave. The mental or physical trauma could be faced by anyone irrespective of their sex. There are multiple causes of violence like psychological, behavioural, and social. Sometimes people facing mental pressure at their work becomes aggressive and violent. The unfulfillment of desires and dissatisfaction in their career and personal life also contributes to sowing the seed of violence.

Violence is defined by the World Health Organization as:

the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either result in or have a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, mal development or deprivation[1]

The Committee on Family Violence of the National Institute of Mental Health of America (1992) included in its definition of violence "acts that are physically and emotionally harmful or that carry the potential to cause physical harm … [and] may also include sexual coercion or assaults, physical intimidation, threats to kill or to harm, restraint of normal activities or freedom, and denial of access to resources.[2]

Each year, over 1.6 million people worldwide lose their lives to violence. Violence is among the leading causes of death for people aged 15–44 years worldwide, accounting for 14% of deaths among males and 7% of deaths among females.[3]

Discussing violence in our country, it can be well understood from these lines The biography of our nation is scarred by indescribable acts of individual and collective violence. Headlines of morning newspapers regularly disburse news about the latest incident of, often, incredible brutality etched onto the bodies of women, of children, of the so-called lower castes, of minority groups, and vulnerable others. Violence is executed with deadly precision.[4] In this assignment, we will only focus on the violence against women in India.

Violence Against Women

The condition of women all over the world: Article 1 of The United Nations Declaration of Violence Against Women 1993, defines violence against women as "any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life."

Another concept is the term violence against women has been used to describe a wide range of acts, including murder, rape, and sexual assault, physical assault, emotional abuse, battering, stalking, prostitution, genital mutilation, sexual harassment, and pornography. There is little consensus in the still-evolving field on exactly how to define violence against women. The major contention concerns whether to strictly define the word ''violence" or to think of the phrase "violence against women" more broadly as aggressive behaviours that adversely and disproportionately affect women.[5]

Violence against women
encompasses many forms of violence, including violence by an intimate partner (intimate partner violence) and rape/sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence perpetrated by someone other than a partner (non-partner sexual violence), as well as female genital mutilation, honour killings and the trafficking of women. Women's rights movements have been instrumental in ensuring that the international community keeps discussing violence against women as a human rights concern on the global, regional and national agendas.[6]

From earlier times, the condition of women has always been a concern. The feminist theories were propounded which were the radical, socialist, and liberal theories. All the theories have different principles but have a common objective of curbing violence against women. It is a global issue and not confined to a particular state or region. The crimes are increasing and therefore various organisations, programs, declarations, conventions are held and framed to remove this menace.

The earlier condition of women in India The Vedic period was the golden era for women in India. They lived a glorious life on account of freedom and equality. They were empowered and thus participated in every aspect of life.

The condition however deteriorated from the Post Vedic era and Medieval era. The purdah system, child marriage, infanticides, dowry system, and the emergence of male dominant society became prevalent. In the post-Vedic period, it was attempted to set up a male-dominated society by increasing the authority of men and in the medieval era, as various invasions took place, the threat to the security of women increased. Hence, from these eras, onwards women faced drastic hardships and restrictions.

The British regime brought education and western impact on the socio-cultural life of the Indian masses. Various social reform movements and nationalist movement tried to change the picture of women in our country. Women also started educating themselves and participated in the reformatory movements. The Post Constitutional era enshrined the principles of equality, liberty, and social justice, despite all the progress the predicament of women continued.

The present condition of women in India:
India reported 4,05,861 cases of crimes against women in 2019 and Uttar Pradesh topped the list with 59,853 such incidents, according to the annual National Crime Record Bureau's Crime in India 2019.[7] Former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court Justice G. Rohini has said that physical and sexual violence, which manifests the systematic violation of the right of women to live a life of human dignity, can be stated as the major challenge to women development and empowerment.[8]

Therefore, to deal with the atrocities of women various government programs are continuously organised. The legal system plays a vital role in this context and various enactments are especially framed for women.

Factors Responsible For Increasing Violence Against Women In India

As rightly said by Swami Vivekanand Women will work out their destinies – much better too than men can ever do for them. All the mischief to women has come because men undertook to shape the destiny of women. Here are the factors responsible for increasing violence against women:
  1. Patriarchal Mindset and Gender Stereotype:
    When a child is born, from the initial days they are nurtured differently, according to their gender. A male child is given toys like superheroes, cars, guns and the girl child is given dolls, kitchen sets, etc. This is called gender stereotyping. While growing up also at various stages of life they face distinctions, especially in the field of education and employment, e.g., the administrative posts for women are not much considered by some of the Indian families.

    The patriarchal mindset of the people attempts to imbibe in the child's mind the concept of superiority of one gender over the other. Male domination has been an age-old practice. One of the biggest reasons behind the inferiority in a woman is the biological superiority of men over women who have made her a feelingless person. A woman was reduced to be just an appendage to man.[9] Thus both are the main reasons for the crime against women.
     
  2. Lack of Education:
    This is one of the notable causes of violence in our country. Our nation is still struggling in the field of education. In rural areas, females are not sent to schools even to attain basic education. And due to the deprivation of education, they do not understand what is right and wrong. Married women do not know their rights and thus considers the abysmal behaviour of their husbands as their fate.

    Young men in India mature and develop in a male-dominated environment, with little or no sex education. And in rural areas, with very little contact with female peers after puberty. Together, this leads to misdirected masculinity, characterised by male sexual dominance and unequal gender attitudes and behaviour.[10] Hence, education and pieces of training are essential for both the genders to remove this peril from society.
     
  3. Dowry System:
    Dowry has become a problem in India because of social disorder. The dowry system and the consequent dowry problem grew out of a complex social situation; the dowry system is bolstered by tradition, mythology, and religion and is treated cursorily by the legislature, police, and courts. With dowry deaths on the rise, no conscientious woman can afford to remain silent. The burden of dowry contributes to the view that the birth of a daughter is a calamity, at least economically. Girls are discriminated against their natal homes, for example, in health care, amount of food given them, and so on.[11]

    In many cases, if the demand for dowry is not fulfilled, the woman falls prey to violence. The demand rises if the girl is educated or is of darker complexion. Despite the enactment of The Dowry Prohibition Act 1961, this practice continues. India leads in the number of dowry death cases.
     
  4. Traditional and Cultural Practices:
    The customs like sati and devadasi system are still prevalent in many parts of our country. The term devadasi is a Sanskrit term denoting female servant of deity or handmaiden of God. The tradition has suffered socially, culturally, and economically to such an extent that contemporary devadasi practice is only associated with social evils. The devadasi is neither a reprehensible figure nor an exotic being.

    She has been shaped by a socio-cultural context, dominated by patriarchy, caste/ class hierarchy as well as religious superstition.[12]Sati system after being abolished is a continuing practice in certain communities, some religious texts also write in favour of sati system like A Sati who dies on the funeral pyre of her husband enjoys an eternal bliss in heaven[13]

    The woman has no existence in society without the context of men thus the sati ritual was considered logical to them. Many families were afraid that after the death of her husband the woman may go astray thus sati was the solution for them. Indian women, either physically forced by society or physiologically coerced by the religion, embrace the cult of sati. It also negates the cult of sati as a purely religious activity that reflects women's loyalty and devotion to their husbands and religion. [14] Both these practices continue in contemporary India which is highly condemning. The women's position downgrades because of such customs and thus making them vulnerable.
     
  5. Insensitivity of law enforcement machinery:
    If domestic violence occurred and the woman takes courage and files a complaint to the police officer, they generally suggest them to solve this matter on her own as it is not a big issue and also very common. Now if such mentality exists in the minds of the law enforcement bodies, then how can we expect that the populace will understand the seriousness of the occurrence of such an act. Most of the time women never file a complaint because of the fear of disgrace of them and their family in the society. Law is the protector of every individual but it is still inefficient in curbing the problems of women.
     
  6. Financial Dependence:
    In India, a husband's ability to provide economically for the family is intimately linked to notions of masculinity as well as personal and family honour.[15] This is the most common cause of crime in our society. If somebody is supporting someone financially, subconsciously they build the feeling of superiority and they think they can do whatever they desire. They can suppress her, have right over her body, and abuse the woman.

    It also happens that if the husband in a household is unemployed and the wife is financially supporting the family she is subjected to domestic violence as he starts comparing his capabilities with that of the wife and somewhere it hurts his sentiments additionally, social disapproval, a sense of inadequacy and frustration and related stressors associated with living in poverty may increase the likelihood of men perpetrating domestic violence.

Constitutional Provisions For Women In India

The principle of gender equality is enshrined in the Indian Constitution in its Preamble, Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties, and Directive Principles of State Policy. The Constitution not only grants equality to women but also empowers the State to adopt measures of positive discrimination in favour of women. Within the framework of a democratic polity, our laws, development policies, plans, and programs have aimed at women's advancement in different spheres. India has also ratified various international conventions and human rights instruments committing to secure equal rights of women.[16]

The Preamble

The preamble in itself clearly shows that every individual is equal and posses certain rights in our nation, it is the key to the constitution and does not discriminate between men and women. Let us discuss certain keywords and sentences in the preamble that reinstate the fact that the constitution is equally beneficial for everyone.

WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens
JUSTICE, social, economic and political; LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;

EQUALITY of status and of opportunity….[17]
  • We – It means for all, irrespective of their gender
  • …all its citizens – determines the fact that the constitution will be equally beneficial for everyone.
  • JUSTICE, social, economic and political….
    1. Social:
      The enforcement of various acts and provisions for the upliftment of women in the society. E.g., The Dowry Prohibition Act 1961, The Equal Remuneration Act 1976, The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006, Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986
    2. Economic:
      Every woman has the right to work and to be equally paid. There are various cases where women are paid less despite being in the same position as that of man. They are paid unequal amounts that lead to economic injustice.
    3. Political:
      The women of our country have the right to contribute to the functioning of the government. They have entitled the right to contest elections and the right to vote. The right to universal suffrage to be given to them. There must be reservation for women in certain administrative bodies.
  • LIBERTY of thought, expression…. The thought, expression, belief, faith, and worship must be equally protected. She has the freedom to express her thoughts.
  • EQUALITY of status and opportunity….
    1. Opportunity- The opportunity that is made for the men must equally be given to women. An exception should be highly justified. The person whose right has been infringed can visit the court for enforcing it. The opportunity to study, job, endowments from government programs cannot be denied, keeping in mind the doctrine of intelligible differentia that must exist among equals.
    2. Status- Status here means that if a job is offered to a man and a woman and they are recruited in the same position then they will be recognised on the same status. There shall not be any kind of discrimination in terms of status.

Fundamental Rights Part III of the Indian Constitution

Deals with the fundamental rights. These rights apply to all the citizens irrespective of sex. Certain provisions are there protecting the rights of women.
  1. Right to Equality
    Article 14 deals with equality before law, which means any person who lives in the territory of India is entitled to have equal rights before the law or the equal protection of the laws. Here it must be noted that the phrase 'any person' is used which means that it is applicable for both men and women. According to Article 15 of the Constitution, there shall not be any discrimination among individuals on certain grounds that also includes sex, here the term sex and not 'gender' is used which means this article is focusing on the biological difference and not the social difference.

    Further in Article 15(3), 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. Women are a vulnerable class of the society they have not been equal and thus they were considered lesser gender. Thus 'Protective or Positive Discrimination' is made to elevate women to the level of men, so that they are at the level playing field.

    Therefore, under the Constitution, the State has been given the power to make laws relating to women and children but such laws shall not be violative of Article 15 of the Constitution. Article 15(1) prohibits gender discrimination. Article 15(3) lifts that ignominy and permits the state to positively discriminate in favour of women to make special provisions to ameliorate their social, economic, and political condition and accord them parity.[18]

    Article 16 of the Constitution mentions that equal opportunity should be given to all citizens in matters that are related to employment or any appointment to any office. Thus, no person shall be discriminated on the grounds of 'sex as mentioned in Article 16(2) of the Constitution.
     
  2. Right to freedom:
    Articles 19 to 22 deals with the right to freedom. Article 21 of the Constitution of India, provides Protection of life and personal liberty According to Bhagwati, J., Article 21 embodies a constitutional value of supreme importance in a democratic society. This right is claimed when a person's right to life or liberty is infringed. The right to life does not mean mere animal existence it means living with dignity, they are entitled to have a respectful life.

    This right is the fundamental of all the rights of the Constitution. In India there is an upsurge in cases where their right to life is violated, as they are subjected to domestic violence, sexual abuse[19], harassments, etc. in most of the household these women accept such violence to protect their marriage, the fear of family disgrace prevents them from raising their voice, dependency on the husband, etc. the fundamental right is the heart of the Constitution and women must thoroughly be made aware of it.
     
  3. Right against Exploitation:
    Article 23 of the Constitution provides the right against exploitation. This constitutional provision prohibits traffic in human beings. Trafficking of women is very common in our country where they are extremely exploited. The legislature has passed the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 that aims to abolish prostitution and other forms of trafficking.
Let's discuss certain cases related to the above mentioned rights.
  • Right to hold property by women- In the case of Madhu Kishwar & Ors v. State Of Bihar & Ors[20] The Chota Nagpur Tenancy Act 1908, provided certain property rights to the people of that region. However, according to the act it was stated that the tribal women will have no right to inherit any property.

    Thus, only male members were entitled to inherit property. A petition was filed stating that certain provisions that are in favour of succession to property only to the male line are discriminatory, unfair against women, and ultra vires the equality clause (Article14) of the Constitution. A three judge bench decided the case, wherein two Judges found it non violative on grounds that the personal laws which give inheritance rights should not be applied to the concerned tribes.

    But the descending Justice Ramaswamy, K. found the provisions highly discriminatory that violative of Article 14 right to equality. In his opinion, if this kind of act prevailed then injustice will also prevail in the country. However, the act was allowed because of the majority.
     
  • Discriminations in employment:
    The Apex Court in the case of Air India v. Nergesh Mirza[21] It was held that a woman shall not be denied employment merely on the ground that she is a woman as it amounts to a violation of Article 14 of the Constitution. The Air India Airlines had certain service rules and all the female staff has to follow, it stated that:
    Air Hostesses shall not marry for the first four years of their joining; they will lose jobs if they became pregnant. They shall retire at the age of 35 years unless managing director extends the term by ten years at his discretion.

    The Supreme Court suggested that the first provision is legal, as it would help in the promotion of the family planning programs, and will increase the expenditure of airlines recruiting air hostesses on temporary or ad hoc basis, but the second and third provisions to be declared as unethical, callous, cruel, detestable abhorrent, unreasonable, arbitrary, unconstitutional and an open insult to Indian womanhood.[22]

    In C.B Muthamma v. Union of India [23]it was held that the rules relating to seniority and promotion in Indian Foreign Service which discriminate only on the ground of sex are not only unconstitutional but also a hangover of the masculine culture of having cuffing the weaker sex. In this case the petition was filed wherein it was contended that a woman had been denied promotion to Grade I on the ground of sex, which was violative of Article 15 of the Constitution.

    Another rule of The Indian Foreign Service Rules (Conduct and Discipline) Rules 1961, required that an unmarried woman member should take the permission of the Government before she marries, and after marriage, she may be asked any time to resign if it is felt that her family life is affecting her work performance. The above rules contravene Article 15 of the Constitution and were struck down.

    Mackinnon Mackenzie & Co. Ltd v. Audrey D'Costa & Anr[24] there were stenographers in the company both male and female. But the female stenographers were paid less as compared to the male employees. Despite having the same working hours, the same work, appointment on the same date and given the same number of holidays. The Court held that such discrimination is violative of Article 14.

    It was stated by the court in its judgment Discrimination arises only where men and women doing the same or similar kind of work are paid differently. Wherever sex discrimination is alleged, there should be a proper job evaluation before any further inquiry is made. If the two jobs in an establishment are accorded an equal value by the application of those criteria which are themselves non-discriminatory (i.e. those criteria which look directly to the nature and extent of the demands made by the job) as distinct from criteria which set out different values for men and women on the same demand and it is found that a man and a woman employed on these two jobs are paid differently, then sex discrimination arises.[25]

    The right to livelihood was challenged in the case of Anuj Garg & Ors vs Hotel Association Of India & Ors [26], In The Punjab Excise Act 1914, Section 30 stated and was questioned as it prohibited women employment where liquor is served. This section is violative of Article 14, the contention of the Punjab Government was to avoid chaos and is for the safety of women. But the Court said that if the Government believed that the chances of raucous could be there, the government should strengthen the security rather than disallowing women to work. The Court criticised the mindset of the government stating that fetters are put on the victim but there is no improvement in the society.
     
  • Reservation of seats for women in educational institutions, employment:
    The Bombay High Court in Dettatreya v. State of Bombay [27] has held that reservation of some seats in women's colleges is not unconstitutional. The court observed the establishment of educational institutions for women is not violative of Article 15 of the Constitution. In the case of Government of Andhra Pradesh v. Vijay Kumar[28] instances for 30 percent reservation of seats for women in specific state services stood valid as special provisions could be made for women as per Article 15(3).

    Similarly, in the case of T. Sudhakar Reddy v. Government of Andhra Pradesh[29] the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional validity of certain rules of Cooperative Societies Act, 1964 which provided for the nomination of two women members by the Registrar of the managing committee to vote and to participate in the Committee's meeting. The Court observed that such kind of special reservation can be provided to women.
     
  • Rights of women of easy virtue:
    In the case of State of Maharashtra v. Madhukar Narayan Mardikar[30] the contention was made that a woman indulging in prostitution has a right to a dignified life. Article 21 is available to every person irrespective of their profession. Although prostitution is illegal, women are not voluntary criminals but are innocents, as denounced in the case of Vishal Jeet v. Union of India[31] where the court observed that trafficking in human beings is prevalent in India for a long time in the form of selling and purchasing of human beings for prostitution for a price just like that of vegetables.

    On the strength of Article 23, the legislature has passed the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 that aims to abolish prostitution and other forms of trafficking. Thus, the court observed that the government is expected to uphold development programs for such women.

    Initiatives should be taken to pull out these women from this vocation. The essence is that one shouldn't be considering them as criminals but victims of crime. Similarly, in the case of Gaurav Jain v. Union of India[32] the court observed that children of the prostitutes are entitled to education and other facilities as other children.
     
  • Mother can act as a natural guardian during the lifetime of father:
    The Apex Court in Githa Hariharan v. Reserve Bank of India[33] held that the father cannot claim that he alone was the natural guardian and his wife could take no decision without his permission. It was held that the mother of the minor was relegated to an inferior position on the ground of sex alone since her right as a natural guardian is made cognizable after the father, which was a violation of Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution on that ground. Hence, the mother can act as the natural guardian of the minor during the lifetime of the father who would be deemed to be absent.
     
  • Right to Privacy:
    In Neera Mathur v. LIC[34], a lady applied for work in LIC. The lady was asked to fill a questionnaire that contained certain intricate details of her biological life. A petition was filed, the Court stated that these questions are necessary for employment purpose. It is the infringement of her right to privacy which exists under Article 21.
     
  • Adultery:
    In the famous case of Yusuf Abdul Aziz v. State of Bombay[35], A petition was filed where the contention was made that Section 497 of Indian Penal code,1860 is violative of the Constitution of India, where a person is punished for the offence of adultery with a married woman without the consent of her husband. If there is a consenting adult woman who understands the consequences of the activities, it is unfair to hold only the man responsible for it, she should also be the party to the crime.

    The Court then held that women shouldn't be considered the party of the crime, as this provision can be misuse against her. There can be cases where she might not understand the repercussions. Hence the Court upheld the validity of Section 497.

    But in Joseph Shine v. Union of India[36] the Court overruled its previous decision and said that Section 497 is no more applicable. If the woman is the consenting adult, she might know the consequences. Thus, the section does not stand valid. The Court said that the idea of gender justice should only be fulfilled when there is a difference between right and wrong. It must be noted that the right to a dignified life is not only applicable to citizens but to the non citizens as well.[37]
Thus, the fundamental rights of the Constitution are enriched with various provisions for women and it will stand strong if enforced properly.

Directive Principles Of State Policy:

The directive principles of state policy is the reflection of governance that India is a welfare democratic state. This policy envisaged equal rights to work, equal pay for equal work, adequate means of decent and dignified livelihood to both men and women. Part IV of the Constitution containing Articles 39(a) (d) and (e), 42, 44, and 45 deal with the welfare and development of women.

According to Article 39(a), the State should direct its policy towards securing that the citizens, men, women equally have the right to an adequate means of livelihood. This Article provides equal right for all citizens, irrespective of sex, to adequate means of livelihood.

As per Article 39(d), the State is under Constitutional obligation, towards securing that there is equal pay for equal work for both men and women.[38]

According to Article 39(e) the health and strength of workers of men, women, and that of children of underage to be protected equally.

Article 42 of the Constitution deals with the just and humane condition of work and maternity leave. There must be rules regarding better maternity leaves. There are however certain programs for pregnant women, where they get free medical checkups and provided free medications, e.g., the Anganbadi system, Asha Sisters (women trained to care the expecting mothers). In India, women get six months of paid maternity leave for public sectors and there is no defined rule for private sectors.

This term is less as compared to other countries. The child care leave granted to women is a total of 700-750 days for two children combined, until both the children turns 18 years old. The biggest drawback in our country is that the paternity leave is only for 15 days in the public sector, it must be considered by the legislature that the responsibility of the child is of both the parents, but no such rule has been framed.

The concept of the Uniform Civil Code is given in Article 44 of the Constitution. It was incorporated in the Constitution with the aim that gender injustice will be removed. Unfortunately, after so many years of Independence, it is yet not implemented. In the landmark case of Sarla Mudgal v. Union of India[39] it was held that a Hindu marriage exists even after one spouse converts to Islam.

There is no automatic dissolution of Hindu marriage. In this case, the Hindu husband was liable for the offence of bigamy as he converted to Islam without dissolving the earlier marriage when he was a Hindu. The Court asked the Central Government to initiate the implementation of Article 44 as it is imperative for both the protection of the oppressed and the promotion of national unity and integrity.

In another landmark case Mohd. Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Begum[40] the Supreme Court held that Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 which imposes such legal obligation on all the husbands is secular in character and is applicable to all religions. In this case, the court emphasised the need for codifying a common civil code. No gender equality can be achieved without making the Uniform Civil Code.[41]

Fundamental Duties:

Article 51A (e) states …to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women. It is a wide provision, where the decency and morality of women must be intact. The Constitution provides such duty that people are expected to do away with indecent practices like stalking, voyeurism, eve teasing, name calling, etc.

Local Governance

In the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments the reservation of seats for women in Panchayat and in that of Municipality have been incorporated by inserting 243(d) and 243(t). One third of the number of seats shall be reserved for women in both.

This is done for the upliftment of women in the field of politics as well. But after all this most of the time, the woman only serves as the de facto incharge. The actual chores are done by the male member (husband, brother, father etc) of her family. The woman is just the rubber stamp administration who only signs the document and is not aware of the administrative system. Thus, the actual idea of gender justice is not materialised.

Conclusion
Justice K. Ramaswamy stated:
Indian women have suffered and are suffering discrimination in silence. Self-sacrifice and self denial are their nobility and fortitude and yet they have been subjected to all inequities, indignities, inequality, and discrimination.

This topic of violence against women has always been in discussion, but unfortunately, the situation is still not in control. Recently, during the phase of lockdown due to the spread of the coronavirus there was a hike in the cases of domestic violence. A study by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, brings confirmation that the coronavirus lockdowns are making Indian women more vulnerable to violence at home- a fear that activists and academics have voiced from the start.

Mapping the complaints of domestic violence received by the National Commission for Women (NCW) in April-May against designated red, green, and orange zones, the study found that complaints of domestic violence rose 131 percent in red zones, where there were stricter curbs on mobility, relative to green zones.[42] The story does not end here, the Hathras rape case which is a slap to humanity also took place, there are several cases like this, some are known through media but many are unknown, every second of an hour a woman is subjected to violence.

What an irony it is, that we call our nation Bharat Mata and this is what is happening in our motherland. It's highly disappointing that during this tough time, instead of focusing on the solution and keeping ourselves safe, people are busy exploiting women.

What could be the possible solutions for violence? In my opinion, certain measures could be taken like spreading awareness programs regarding gender equality, renouncing the practice of old customs that downgrades women and gradually sensitising them of these heinous acts, the young minds must also be educated so that they can step out and raise their voice against the wrong done, girls and women should be given self-defence training in schools and colleges, we have a comprehensive legislature exclusively for women, it must be enforced properly.
India is progressing in every dimension, but this development is of no use if our country is not able to cope with the acts of violence.

The circumstances can change only if every individual pledge that we will fight this pandemic of violence anyhow because we must remember that it is not only the duty of the government or the judiciary to resolve such crimes, but it's our duty also to remove this filth of violence from our wonderful nation.

End-Notes:
  1. Etinne Krug and Pan American Health Organisation, World Report on Violence and Health,3 (2002).
  2. Nancy A. Crowell & Ann Burgess, Understanding Violence against Women,10 (1996).
  3. Krug and Organisation, supra,7 at 3.
  4. Neera Chandhoke, The Trail of Violence, The Wire, Sept 13,2020.
  5. Crowell & Burgess, Supra note 2 at 22
  6. World Health Organization. (‎2013)‎. Global and regional estimates of violence against women: prevalence and health effects of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence. World Health Organization https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/85239
  7. Scroll staff, UP had most cases of violence against women in 2019; across India, 87 rapes reported per day: NCRB, https://scroll.in/tag/NCRB-data
  8. Violence against women is the main challenge of development, The Hindu, June16, 2019
  9. Causes of crime against women: A theoretical explanation,Factors responsible for crime against women, https://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/
  10. Madhumita Pandey,There's only way to tackle India's sexual violence of epidemic – sex education, The Print May 19, 2019
  11. Wanda Teays, The Burning Bride: The Dowry Problem in India. Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion,1991
  12. Dr. V Bharathi Harishankar and Dr. M Priyamvada, Exploitation of women as devdasis and its associated evils Report 2015-2016, National Commission of Women.
  13. Daksa Smruti, 4:18-19.
  14. Mohammed SAMSUDDIN, A brief historical background of sati tradition in India, Religion and philosophical Research (Din Felsefee), June 2020
  15. Suneeta Krishnan, Corinne H. Rocca, Alan E. Hubbard, Kalyani Subbiah, Jeffrey Edmeades, Nancy S. Padian,,Do changes in spousal employment status lead to domestic violence? Insights from a prospective study in Bangalore, India,Social Science &Medicine,2010,https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2009.09.026
  16. Ministry of statics and program implementation Government of India, Constitution of Legal Right, 2020
  17. The Constitution of India,1950
  18. Dr. SC Tripathi & Vibha Rao, Law relating to Women and Children, at 5 (2019)
  19. Vishakha v. State of Rajasthan (1997) 6 SCC 24
  20. AIR 1996 SCC (5) 125
  21. AIR 1981 SC 1829
  22. Tripathi and Arora, Supra 19 at 7
  23. AIR 1979 SC 1868
  24. AIR 1987 SCR (2) 659
  25. Paul Davis and Mark Freedland, Labour LawText and Material, 297,1979.
  26. AIR 2008 SC 663
  27. AIR 1953 (Bom) HC 311
  28. AIR 1995 SCC (4) 520
  29. 1993 Supp. (4) SCC 439
  30. AIR 1991 SC 207 not
  31. AIR 1990 SC 1412
  32. AIR 1997 SC 3021
  33. AIR 1999 SC 1149 1999 (2) SCC 228
  34. AIR 1991 SC 392
  35. AIR 1994 SC 321
  36. AIR 2018 SC 1676
  37. Railway Board v. Chandrima Das AIR 2000 SCC 465
  38. Randhir Singh v. Union of India AIR 1982 SC 879
  39. AIR 1995 SC 1531
  40. AIR 1985 SC 945
  41. Tripathi & Arora, Supra 19 at 18
  42. Locked In, The Indian Express, July 25, 2020.

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