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Women rights in India

The United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human rights on 10 December 1948 which proclaims that all human beings are born free and have equal right to dignity .Similarly Indian Constitution guarantees several rights such as the right to equality in Article 14, right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 of Constitution to all its citizens irrespective of gender .

Gender equality means a society in wherein both women and men enjoy the same opportunities, rights and obligations in different spheres of life. Equality in decision making, economic and social freedom, equal access to education and right to practice an occupation of one’s choice.In order to promote gender equality , we need to the empowerment of women,and concentrate on areas which are most crucial to her well being. Women’s empowerment, economic, social, political, is vital to growth of any nation and to protect and nurture human rights.

Constitutional rights available to women in India-

Fundamental right to equality before Law that is, equal protection of laws in India-   Article 14

Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.However art 15(3) empowers state to make any special provision for women and children -Article 15

Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment or opportunity to any office under state and prohibits discrimination on ground of sex- Article 16

Freedom of speech and expression and freedom to practice any profession or to carry out any occupation , trade or business – Article 19

Protection of life and personal liberty- Article 21

Right to Privacy- Article 21

Right to property- Art. 300-A

Political rights- women reservation in for instance, panchayats. Art 15 of the Constitution allows special provisions for women and children to be made for their welfare.

Under the Legal Services Authorities Act women and children are entitled to free legal aid .

Under the Constitution of India , the Directive Principles of State Policy contain duties of the State to apply these principles while making laws.These principles state that state shall direct its policies to secure that citizens , men and women equally have the right to an adequate means of livelihood, that there is equal pay for both men and women, provide free and compulsory education for children and duty to improve public health.Whereasincase of violation of fundamental rights , these rights are enforceable , that is , a victim can seek legal redress through a court of law , the directive principles are only a guiding factor and its non observance is not actionable before court of law.