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Gender Justice in India

The term Gender is a very common and widely used term all over the globe. If we talk about the term gender the very first thing that strike in our mind is about the sex of a person whether he is a male or a female on which our so called human society is based upon. But the very fundamental thing that we forget about is the third pillar of our society that is the transgender.

This is a very dynamic theme to discuss about, thus it is very difficult to touch each and every aspect related to this topic. So this article is mainly focussed on the topic Social Dimensions of Gender Equality. This paper explores the multidimensional nature of gender equality and its influence on the social, economic, legal and religious growth of the country.

If we look to the religious aspect, we might think that how religion is a affecting the social dimensions of gender equality, but when we look minutely and closely, we can find that religious beliefs are strongly correlated with gender inequitable views. These attitudes might serve as an important channel through which these gender biases are institutionalized in economic practices and act to slow economic growth.

Human is a social animal and is bound to obey his living according to the rules and norms followed in the society. But who makes these rules and norms? We the human ourselves! We are the creation of the Almighty, and then who are we to discriminate within each of the creation of the Almighty.

The very basic thing which we need to change is our thinking, our mentality. These norms and rules are nothing more than a fetter which has now turned as a thorn in the flesh and is hampering the growth of the society.

Over the time we have understood that the three genders are the pillars on which the society exists. We cannot exclude any of the three while achieving peace. All the three genders play their vital roles to attain the maximum level of satisfaction as described by Maslow in his concept of Hierarchy of Need.

We often hear or come across several types of strikes, protests going on to provide equal position to the women in the society but in rare cases we can listen the same about the third gender that is the transgender! Don't they have the right to live a peaceful life as of men and women? Aren't they a citizen of our Country? If they are then why are they subjected to the atrocities? Why there is a huge gap between their lives and ours? It's high time to outbreak the shackles which are put on them and give them a fair opportunity to live their lives the way they want with all the social dignity.

Social Dimension of Gender Equality

The sense of tranquility among the genders of society can be probably said as equality. This has been a hotly debated issue on various worldly platforms and summits. Since human evolution on earth men and women contributed in the development of the society in the parallel manner. But somehow in the mad rat race of world men have always undermined the potency of women and subjugated them. We talk about gender equality, but do we even really mean it?

When it comes to our stake we clearly deny from the same and continue the inequality prevailing in our society. We are in the 21st century and still women and the transgender seem way lagging behind men due to certain barriers made by the people themselves in this patriarchal society. By gender equality we often find millions of feminists in the world. But what are they doing? In some way or the other they are just trying to show that women are the one because of whom the world exists!

They are emphasizing mostly upon the concept of importance of women in the society. But is this the real meaning of Gender equality? Is this what women want? And in all these chaos everyone forgets about a whole community of LGBTs. Let's hypothetically consider that there are people who are taking steps regarding the transgender, but does these strikes, long debates and protests can do Gender Justice to them?

I don't think so! GENDER EQUALITY a heavy weighed word. But in order to do justice with this no one would stand affirm. By this word we don't only mean feminism. It is a holistic approach towards upbringing an unbiased society where every gender men, women and transgender are equally treated in every sphere. We will look upon every aspect of these further. So, starting with the Females!

There are many cases of female abuse from the lowest to the apex community in our society. Girl children are ill-treated, forcefully involved in domestic chores and are shackled in the barriers put on them in this patriarchal society. Cases of female foeticides are numerous in count and are significantly prevalent in the society despite of the stringent laws. It is not that the government is not putting efforts in the upliftment of the women in the society.

The parliament has already made law with the objective to diminish the female foeticide (PCPNDT ACT, 1994), but is there any change in the mindset of the people. Still in the states of Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab there are number of cases of the same. These are the few which are reported. In the ground level there exists at least more than 3 times of the reported cases or the data which is available. On the one hand, females are treated next to Goddess and on contrary to that they are not safe even in their own house or offices.

We all have listened about the landmark case of Vishakha vs State of Rajasthan which dealt with the sexual harassment of women at the workplace. In this case the SC held that "women have fundamental right towards the freedom of sexual harassment at workplace. It also put forward various important guidelines for the employees to follow them and avoid sexual harassment of women at workplace.

The court also suggested having proper techniques for the implementation of cases where there is sexual harassment at workplace. The main aim/objective of the Supreme Court was to ensure gender equality among people and also to ensure that there should be no discrimination towards women at their workplace". But do we today don't find such cases? We do right! So the problem is with the mentality of the people. I'm not blaming only men for this; also the women are equally liable for this.

Every mother in their house teach their daughters to behave properly, to dress properly, how should they walk, how to talk and above of the all the most important thing which they insert into the mind of their daughters is to tolerate. Their sexuality is not their crime or not any weakness. Then why are they targeted upon it? Recently we saw the Hyderabad rape case of that veterinary doctor Disha Reddy.

Is this what we the people had protested for after the Nirbhaya's (Pawan Kumar Gupta Vs. State of NCT of Delhi) incident? The culprit of Nirbhaya who were proved guilty long ago! But what was the outcome? All those mercy petitions and review petitions that was made to delay the date of execution! I'm not questioning the process of law, but the thing which we need to ponder over is regarding that advocate, who was constantly trying to prove his client's innocence and after the judgment of the SC, tried to meet all the ends in order to delay the conviction.

Is this what humanity is? We understand that it is his profession, but is not there any sort of moral or ethics lagging his mind? Was this the objective behind providing the Fundamental Right under article 19(1)(g) of our Constitution. But yes this showed numerous loop holes in our judiciary system and in our legislation which are required to be changed and the laws should be made way more strict and stringent. Another case where a woman was subjected to atrocity by men was Laxmi Vs UOI.

A PIL was filed by the victim asking for changes in the laws of IPC. As a result of this PIL, an amendment was made in the CrPC, 1973, through which sec 357 A was inserted and in IPC two new sections were incorporated i.e. 326A and 326B. But is this the end? Do we not find any other case related to the same after that?

In order to overcome from these things we should lift ourselves up from this heinous concept of showing masculine powers. These are the cases wherein the women were targeted by outsiders; but what if she is subjected to atrocities inside the house by her family members? Yes, this is also a very shameful thing occurring in the society, whether by her husband, her in- laws or even by her own parents or siblings. The concept of dowry is one of these!

We have seen variety of cases where the brides are subjected to cruelty and torture in her matrimonial house and as a precaution for this Sec 498A dowry prohibition acts came into effect. But the aim regarding implementation of these provisions was to simplify the living of women in their matrimonial house and the outcome of this was not the same. In some or the other way it gave an open freedom to some of the selfish women to target men and his family.

Although through the decision of the case of Rajesh Sharma vs State of U.P the court consider it fit to give following directions:
  1. The constitution of at least one or more Family Welfare Committees by the DLSA comprising of 3 members, and the working of these committees shall be regularly reviewed from time to time by the District Judge.
  2. The committee could contain para legal volunteers or social workers or retired persons or any other citizens who may be found suitable.
  3. Any complaint filed as per section 154(3) read with Sec 200 Cr. P.C. or any FIR filed as per section 154(1) Cr.P.C. for the alleged offence U/s 498A are to be referred and looked into by this committee.
  4. The report has to be made within 1 month of the date of receipt of complaint and is to be handed over to the authority by whom the complaint is referred.
  5. Till the time when the report is not made, no arrest should be made.
  6. The report then made is to be relooked and investigated by the I.O. or the Magistrate on their own merit.

This paradox of our society is extremely sorrowful. We need to understand that women too can walk shoulder to shoulder with men and succeed in every aspect of life without anyone's aid. They are self reliant. The stereotypical view of the society must be addressed and eradicated, only then the so called postulated aspects of gender equality will be implemented on the ground level. The plea of the hour is giving an open sky to women whose wings already exist, all we need to give them an unbiased, non-discriminated platform to fly high.

Now coming to another aspect gender equality that remains unveiled usually is about the transgender. They are also human beings and every creation of God itself is a masterpiece, We often talk about equal rights for man and women but the third gender has always been refrained and objected to some inhumane tasks. The repercussions of such inequality can never be fruitful. We need to act in a humanitarian way.

They too have all the fundamental rights which can't be denied. Then why are they always excreted form the society. They can also contribute in the development of the society and even they are. We can take the example of Andreja Pejic, 1st transgender, who got named in the Vogue list of models, Joyita Mondal who turned the 1st transgender judge and even many more are there.

If they are given proper lifestyle they too can contribute a lot in the sustainable development of the world. But the reality is that their literacy rate is negligible, they are forced to live very pathetic lives. Probably this is due to the sense of superiority occupied in the minds. One of the historic decisions was taken by the SC in the case of Naz Foundation vs Govt. of NCT of Delhi wherein a five judge constitutional bench of the Supreme Court of India, in a landmark judgment, decriminalized homosexuality and banned discrimination based on sexual orientation. Another relevant decision was given by the SC of United States on Oct 8th, 2019 "wherein the SC the justices of the Supreme Court clashed over the meaning of "sex".

There the court heard the cases of three LGBT employees, comprising of two gay men and a transgender woman, who claimed that they were fired because of their identities. There the main issue or the point in question was the meaning of Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act, which forbade discrimination because of "sex" but did not specially refer / question to gender identity or sexual orientation".

Thus at last I would like to conclude that government can alone bring such equality in the society. We the stakeholder of the society at the pioneer level should join the hands to bring them in the mainstream. Formulation of laws can prove a tool in this battle but we need to become the warriors and should lead this from the front. Implementation of laws is also a pre-requisite for gender equality. For an economically sound and well civilized society gender equality is the cry of the nation.

  • Vishakha Vs State of Rajasthan- AIR 1997 SC 3011
  • Art 19(1)(g): to practise any profession, or to carry on any occupation, trade or business
  • Pawan Kumar Gupta Vs. State of NCT of Delhi- AIR 2020 SC 340
  • Laxmi Vs. UOI-AIR 2014 SCC 4 227
  • Rajesh Sharma and ors Vs. State of U.P.-AIR 2017 SC 3869
  • Naz Foundation vs Govt. of NCT of Delhi-160 Delhi Law Times 277

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