Equality, freedom, and a violence-free life is the fundamental right of every woman globally. But, unfortunately, the world is still gender-biased to some extent, even if it has reached the glorious 2020 with the Utopian technical and scientific advancement shunning all the orthodox superstition and progressing towards equal rights and safety for the women.
In the present situation, violence against the nurturers of mother earth has taken new shape mingling finely with the earlier version of barbaric torture. International Women’s Day is saying a “Hi” to us, and we are dedicating this article to our mother, sister, friend, and every individual who is born a girl.
Can Women Stand Firmly Against The Intense Violence That Nibble Them Every Single Day?
We, women in India, often get defended by our own parents and relatives whenever something horrendous happens to us administered by husband, boyfriend, or any male member of the society. Even legal practitioners including police, lawyers, counselors, etc. advice or threaten us to remain silent and move on leaving the culprits free to move around proudly planning their next crime. Daily print and television media tell us the news of heinous crime against women.
Recently, Anubhav Sinha directed movie titled “Thappad” casting popular Indian actress Tapsee Pannu as the protagonist places a tight slap on the Indian chauvinistic patriarchy that considers women to be inferior and material-like. It is the story of every Indian woman whose dreams are shattered silently with each passing day. The film not only focuses on “Amrita” (the lead character), but also aligns her suffering with other women around her. Amrita’s established big-shot woman lawyer is trapped in a marriage that has no place for happiness. Amrita’s domestic help “Sunita” is beaten daily by her drunk husband. Amrita’s mother-in-law is never allowed to raise question against anything.
What Are The Violence Against Women?
- Acid attack
- Honor killing
- Dowry harassment
- Women accused as witch and killed mercilessly
- Forceful child marriage
- Fatal domestic violence
- Female infanticide
In India, gender inequality prevails in all the national aspects concerning education, economic rights, property rights, access to employment, freedom to marry, the choice to divorce, etc.
What To Do Against Domestic Violence?
Prompt legislation must be enforced without delay. Women escaping brutality must be given access to shelters and support services. Traditional gender-biased roles’transformation must be put to an immediate end.
We should all utter with confidence following Thappad’s Amrita, aka TapseePannu “Haan, bas ek thappad… par nahi maar sakta” meaning “Yes, just one slap, but he can’t hit me”.
What Are The Women’s Rights Against Violence?
Once Hillary Clinton opined, “Human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights, once and for all.”
It is quite regrettable that most of the Indian women do not know their fundamental rights. Hence, you must know the prime 11 rights that you hold in India on the grounds of gender equality.
1. Right To Equal Pay
The Equal Remuneration Act provisioned that one can’t be discriminated based on sex concerning pay/wages, or salary. Working women are eligible to draw equal salary in comparison to men.
2. Right To Decency And Dignity
In any event where the accused is a woman and requires medical; examination, it must be performed in the presence or by a woman.
3. Right To Complain Against Workplace Harassment
As a female, you have the right to file a complaint against sexual harassment that occurred in your workplace. The Sexual Harassment of Women empowers this right at Workplace Act. You can submit your written complaint to a branch office of ICC (Internal Complaints Committee) within three months.
4. Right To Complain Against Stalking
As per Section 354D of the IPC, legal action can be taken against a wrongdoer if she or he follows a woman, keep trying to make contact with her despite being clearly informed about the victim’s disinterest. Also, if the stalker disturbs you via electronic communication, including email and others, you can file a complaint against the offender.
5. Right To Take Action Against Domestic Violence
According to the Section 498 of the Indian Constitution, you, as a wife/female live-in partner, or a woman staying in a particular household as mother/sister is protected against domestic violence in terms of sexual, verbal, emotional and economic administered by relatives, husband, or male live-in partner. The accused person will be punished with non-bailable imprisonment for a term that can extend up to three years. The culprits can be fined too.
6. Right To Keep Identity Anonymous While Recording Statement Alone Concerning Sexual Harassment
Your privacy must be protected at any cost, and being a woman who has been sexually tortured can record your statement alone in the presence of the district magistrate when your lawsuit is under the trail. Your privacy is protected even during your speech taking session before a female police officer.
7. Right For Virtual Complaints
You are allowed by the law to file your complaint virtually via writing or email and sending it to the concerned police station’s address. Then, a police constable will be sent by the SHO to your location to record the same. It generally works when a woman is not in a state to each the police station physically for the needful.
8. Right To Receive Legal Aid For Free
If a woman is a rape victim, she can get help from the Legal Services Authority for free. This comes under the Legal Services Authorities Act. The respected medium will arrange for a good lawyer for the sufferer.
9. Right To ‘Zero FIR’
If you encounter any violence, you are free to file an FIR in any police station you find. There is no boundary of location or jurisdiction. It is known as Zero FIR. It will later pass to the specific police station under which the particular case falls. The respected Supreme Court has passed this rule for saving female’ victim’s time. It is, further, to stop the guilt party to flee.
10. Right To Not Getting Arrested During The Night Time
No woman can be taken under arrest unless there is a strict order from a first-class magistrate. The time-gap of this rule is from ‘after sunset to before sunrise.’ Again, a lady can be interrogated by police at your home/place of residence only if a woman constable, friends, or family members are present.
11. Right Against Any Kind Of Representation That Is Indecent
You can complain against any depiction of your body by anyone in any way which is filthy and obscene, derogatory, or can injure, corrupt or degrade the morals of the public. It is definitely a punishable offense.
Stop Bearing. Stand Strong. Rise Powerful.
On the auspicious International Women’s Day, let take an oath to be safe and keep others safe. We all must not be a silent bearer of the violence that thrashes us. We should protest in any possible manner we can to save our and fellow women’s dignity and seek justice. After all, we deserve equality, empathy, forgiveness, tenacity, respect, self-worth, hope, collaboration, appreciation, and righteousness. We must use our rights for any unwelcome activity that tends to ruin our precious life.
Women’s Helpline Number in India
- Women’s Helpline (All India) – 1091
- Women’s Helpline (Domestic Abuse) – 181
- Police – 100
- National Commison For Women (NCW) – 011-26942369, 26944754
- Delhi Commision For Women – 011-23378044 / 23378317 / 23370597
- Outer Delhi Helpline – 011-27034873 , 27034874
- Student / Child Helpline – 1098
You Are The Power. You Are The Beauty.
More Power To All The Powerful Beauties.
Wish you all ‘Happy International Women’s Day’
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