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Overview Of Women's Rights In The Workplace In India

The discussion around the rights of women in the workplace and society at large has increased over the past years. Women's right to express, grow, contribute, feel safe, etc. at the workplace should be a self-evident truth. They don't ask for special privileges or treatment, all they ask for is equal opportunities, equal encouragement, and appreciation.

Things like maternity leaves shouldn't be looked upon as a privilege, rather acknowledged as their Birthright as they are giving birth to the next generation. We belong to a society that has labeled women to be the weaker sex, Indian working women face difficult paths to make a place of their own in their workplaces.

Today, there are women achievers in every field. The constitution of India has provided positive discrimination for women, the Indian state has passed several laws and implemented policies to improve their condition. But, still, Indian women face visible and invisible discriminations in their paths like sexual harassment in the workplace, unsafe road, a very big issue is thinking of the society, etc.

There are many cases in the last decades through which we came to know that nowadays what kind of difficulties women are facing in their workplaces. Here is a case that is one of the significant cases among the cases of women's safety as it paved the way to the Vishaka guidelines.

In this case, Bhanwari Devi was a Dalit government employee who was engaged in spreading awareness about hygiene and running campaigns against dowry and child marriage. As part of her job, she is helping a young girl who was forced to marry at a young age by her parents. She tried to stop the marriage and carried out a rally But she was not able to stop the marriage from happening.

To take revenge for the rallies, a group of people attacked Bhanwari Devi when she was walking along the road with her husband. She was gang-raped by these men. After that, she filed a criminal case of rape against these men. However, she was not taken seriously by the policemen and other law officers. The Rajasthan high court convicted the five men of assault whose degree of punishment is much lesser than the crime of rape.

The judgment of the Rajasthan high court gave rise to rallies and protests by various women's safety organizations and the general public. This forced the government and the legal system to provide justice to Bhawani Devi. That followed the case of Vishaka v/s the state of Rajasthan which results in the formation of Vishaka Guidelines.

The Vishaka guidelines
The Vishaka guidelines were a set of guidelines related to protecting women in the workplace. These were instituted by the supreme court of India in the year 1997. Features of the Vishaka guidelines. The main points of the guidelines issued by the Hon'ble.

Supreme Court of India are as follows:

  1. Definition of sexual harassment.
  2. Provide a safer working environment.
  3. Duty of the employer to file a complaint.
  4. Complaint redressal committee.
  5. Employer to assist the employee if she is sexually harassed.
  6. Duty of employer to spread awareness.
  7. The government has to widen the scope of this guideline.


These guidelines were instituted by the supreme court of India to ensure the safety of women at workplaces and lay down the guidelines for dealing with the cases that are related to sexual harassment at the workplace. The Bhanwari Devi case is the most significant landmark case in the history of cases involving sexual harassment of women. The constitution of India is the supreme law of our country and must be protected and respected in every instance.

The fundamental rights of equality and personal liberty should be protected and the citizens of our country should not be discriminated against on any grounds. Hence, it is legal as well as a moral duty to provide a safer work environment for women to prosper. So, we all should respect the constitution and all the authorities.

It is also not only the responsibility of the judiciary but we also have some responsibilities. As a society, we have to develop our old and primitive thinking. It's the modern era everyone has their rights that what they have to do or what they don't have to do.

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