Did you ever think about the role of mother and father towards their kid or
kids? It is a lifetime job with endless responsibilities till death. Starting
early in the morning from preparing the breakfast for all the members of the
family, dressing up the children for their school, packing their lunches, tying
their shoelaces to getting them to the school buses.
All these household chores
get done only with the help of our parents; helping and supporting each other
every moment. So, here it will be unfair if we only consider our mothers'
effort. As equally do our fathers get engaged with our daily indoor works, so
they also deserve to get appreciation.
This is the 21st century and we are living in nuclear families where our society
can be considered as a witness. In a lot of households, fathers do help mothers
with household chores. We live in a post-modern society with most of the parents
working and trying to maintain a decent work-life balance. But what about
Do they still stick to the stigma which revolves around the scenario
where men are the only breadwinners and women are at their respective houses
engaged with housekeeping and child-rearing?
The prejudice towards men
Today when one scrolls through any page related to equality on social media,
definitely an individual will come across the word 'feminism', or in simpler
words, the post will be in favor of seeking equality for women. Along with
social media awareness about equality, our legal system provides laws to
safeguard the interests of women and upholds their liberty, dignity, etc.
Article 15 clause 3 of the Indian Constitution specifically for women and
children, states that there shall be no discrimination on the grounds of gender
it also mentions that the state shall make provisions specifically for women and
children. Even to make the comparison with men more interesting we also have
generic movies like Manikarnika, Mardaani, Pink, Neerja, and many others. So in
all these the concepts of strong women are pretty clear.
But here is something
important, we are forgetting men, our fathers, our brothers, our uncles. Are we
not ignoring the efforts of the male members present in the family, who are
supporting the females to shine, to achieve success. The efforts of the father
ensure that his daughter has proper education, becomes independent, and is one
of the eminent strong women. Asking for equality is good, but comparing with
men, criticizing them, and taking advantage of their abilities is not at all
Most of the time society assumes that whenever there is a sexual assault, the
victim will be a female and the predator would be a male. But that's not always
true.. But if the same question is asked to males, in most of the cases the
reply would be nothing but silence. The reason behind such response by males is
because society has molded their mindset that these are casual for them unlike
women, and in case anybody feels this disturbing, they have been a victim of
sexual assault, then without raising a voice against it, one starts doubting
oneself only, that they are not functioning according to the expectations of the
society and will consider this as shame.
The aspect of consent regarding males
is as important as in the case of a female. And due to this in the majority of
the cases, men do lack the knowledge about what counts as sexual assault when it
happens to them. They somehow start developing self-doubt instead of realizing
that it happened against their will, in simple terms, it can be termed as a
Even an act of undressing someone against one's will can be
counted as sexual assault, this is because for a long time movies and serials
have portrayed that shirtless heroes are more acceptable for the audience, those
who have a good body get the maximum attention, even that person enjoys the
fame. But in reality, it is not at all the same, some males get uncomfortable
with all these acts.
In a study, the statistics provide that women using offensive content online are
mostly excused, while in the case of men this act is taken seriously. According
to this survey 4 out of 10 people have experienced online harassment, out of
which, 30 percent are men who received threats and 20 percent are women.
In organizational scenarios often male workers are humiliated by female bosses.
Sometimes they are asked to lift their shirt and show their muscles, or undergo
sexual acts for promotions. Even sometimes the men are falsely accused of
harassment. As we do have records of false rape cases in India, so this is not
at all unusual. Even 51% out of 527 men had faced sexual harassment in metros in
Men do report these to the HR departments but due to lack of provisions, these
cases never make it to the headlines. Sometimes for many individuals, it becomes
difficult to complain as they fear that they might be the subject of gossip to
others and their masculinity will turn into a matter of joke. Also, it does
happen that those men who straight often tease other men by making fun of their
Indian reality does also witness men being the victim of domestic
violence, but most of the reports are not recorded, also men are afraid to file
a complaint favoring themselves as the victim, due to the threat that this would
lead to their arrest only, this is because of the societal stigma of perceiving
female to be the weak ones and the victim, and may assume that the person is
faking the incident so as to escape from the charges of sexual assault imposed
Provisions for female
The provision of 498A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 is fully biased toward
women. This provision lacks the grounds where a woman can be held liable for
domestic violence towards men. Even for the divorce under Section 13 of the
Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, women have nine more grounds to raise against men, one
of which is impotence.
Nobody wants to be impotent, so in case of a
misrepresentation by the female for her, some disability in her conceiving
capacity for giving birth or infertility is never a ground for a man to sue her
with a plight of divorce.
Talking about our working mothers, there is a whole act, The Maternity Benefit
Act, 2017, supporting their paid leaves from their workplace which are granted
for the well-being of their child. But what about the father? For a father, it
is only 15 days a year. He is also a parent, he also has a child to take care
of. As much as the mother needs to be present with the child, the father also
does. But how can he? The provisions regarding the leaves are only mentioned
under the leave rules, for State and Central Employees.
Only 8.2% of the
maternity leave is provided to the male employees having children, as paternity
leaves. Even the term 'paternity' signifies parents which include both the
parents. But what about the real scenario? The reality is biased for the mothers
and to those females who are expecting, and accordingly, the provisions are
framed. Partly during the birth of a child, the mother undergoes several
procedures related to health issues, taking care of the baby, but the
legislature ignores the fact that without the support of the other partner's,
things are really difficult.
Also, there is one more thing, we often ignore it that one man marries an
unemployed woman, takes all her responsibility and expenses while this is never
done vice-versa. So where is equality in this aspect? Here society only expects
the man to be the breadwinner.
Some of the aspects related to inequality in the real world
In this instance, being a parent unlike women men do not have a whole act, as
legal support. Also, one of the important aspects that till now India does not
have any laws in favor of homosexual couples, where the acceptance of homosexual
couples has been approved in 2018. So in their case, it becomes a major issue
for the sanction of paternity leave, in respect to this, people who are parents
through surrogacy and adoption also suffer. There were researches to explore
whether there is equality in the case of paid leaves for both homosexual and
It has been found that in The Organisation for Economic
Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, there are equal provisions for
both, same-sex and different-sex types of couples. But in the case of females in
the case of same-sex and different-sex receive equal durations of leave, but
this is not the same for the male partners. The same-sex male couple often
receives a shorter duration of parental leave as compared to both types of
From further research, it has been found out that countries like Australia, New
Zealand, Iceland, and Sweden are the only countries that have the same policies
regarding paid paternity leaves for all couples from 80 to 70 weeks. But in the
case of India, there are only some reputed organizations that provide paid
parental leaves to same-sex couples. For example, Zomato is the first company to
provide a paid leave of 26 weeks for both parents.
Further, they stated that the
company will provide $1000 per child as an endowment to parents of the newborn
child working in the company. This policy is also applied to same-sex partners,
surrogacy, and adoption. The founder of Zomato, Deepinder Goyal also said "There
won't be even an iota of difference in parental leave policy for men and women
He also mentioned that an unequal leave policy for men and women
incurs imbalances at the higher positions in the organization. As regards this,
why are our government organizations not taking this as a matter of concern? Now
we have the support of Section 377 of IPC, in favor of our claim. Till today we
have no laws favoring the adoption of homosexual couples, leave policy for
surrogate mothers, and even for single parents. In contrast to our developing
economy, the policies formulated by our legislation are still not at the same
Practical scenario with case laws
Cases are also present to this aspect of paternity leave, where the petitioner
has applied for the paternity leave, due to fewer provisions regarding this
specific aspect, in most of the circumstances justice is not served. At the time
also the concerned authority did not sanction the leave and further asked him to
apply under the existing policies for leave.
The petitioner in the case of Chander Mohan Jain v. N.K. Bagrodia Public School and Ors
Delhi High Court were
Post Graduate teachers of the N.K. Bagrodia Public School, and to the records of
the concerned organization, there were no existing policies for paternity leave.
Since 2009 and before that, the employees and other professionals have been
facing this issue without proper legal support.
When a matter is not settled and
reaches the court, the verdict takes a lot of time to arrive and in the majority
of the cases, the petitioners are bound by terms and conditions.
another petition, in the case of Vijender Kumar v. Delhi Transport Corporation
the salary has been deducted for 15 days, of the employee and had been regarded
as absent for the mentioned time interval. Here the petitioner was a driver at
Delhi Transport Corporation and had applied for paternity leave for his second
newborn, to which it was denied with the justification that there are no
policies favoring paternity leave for DTC employees. The aforesaid situation is
another instance, where employees are suffering financial losses only due to
A genuine demand for change
So hereby after coming across so many instances, wherein the majority of the
cases men are being deprived of justice, due to lack of provisions, it feels
like there is an urgent need to undergo some modifications to the existing
provisions favoring men especially. There should be gender-neutral laws. There
should be provisions supporting all kinds of circumstances, from a homosexual
couple to single parents.
The present scenario also consists of male widows
bearing two children. So our government needs to ensure such policies that these
children may not be deprived of parental care due to lack of policies and
workload of the workplace. In cases of sexual assault faced by men, the
authorities who are the first to record the complaint or report, should not be judgemental, they are the ones who can motivate the male victims to raise their
voices for the injustice done to them.
They should create a supportive
environment so that in case of rape against a male, he can straightaway approach
the police to file an FIR under Section 154 of The Code of Criminal Procedure,
1973, which states that it is the duty of the officer in charge to take the
report in the case of sexual assault or any other cognizable offenses.
Now it's high time for the legislature to understand that men and women are now
more or less in the same position in society. Due to modernization, both are
earning and contributing to the society for the development of the society only.
So the old laws and statutes are in urgent need of improvement and should be
modified in such a manner that they might not cause discrimination based on
- Maneka Gandhi vs Union Of India on 25 January 1978 AIR 597, 1978 SCR (2) 621
- The Maternity Benefit Act 2017
- ELIZABETH WON JUDY JOU, AMY RAUB , and JODY HEYMANN, Comparing the availability
of paid parental leave for same-sex and different-sex couples in 34 OECD
countries, Cambridge University Press, ( 01 : 24, 19th May 2021),
- Zomato introduces 26-week paid parental leave for both men and women, Business
today, ( 01 : 26, 19th May 2021 ),
- What is Section 377 of IPC? The Times of India; ( 02 : 30 , 19th May 2021 ),
- Chander Mohan Jain vs. N.K. Bagrodia Public School and Ors Delhi High Court Sept
- Vijender Kumar vs Delhi Transport Corporation, GOVT of NCTD, Central
Administrative Tribunal March 15, 2016.