Gender Neutral Laws in India

Before going into the core of the subject involved, the primary and therefore the foremost task is to k now the meaning and essence of the topic that is Gender Neutrality. Gender neutrality describes the concept that policies, language, and different social establishments ought to avoid distinctive roles consistent with people’s sex or gender, so as to avoid discrimination arising from the impression that there are social roles that one gender is additionally suited to another. Gender neutrality emphasizes on equal treatment of men and ladies socially, economically, and lawfully with no discrimination.

From the pre-historic era to the late 60s, the condition and standing of girls were quite bad. In ancient India, epics and Puranas equated ladies with the property. Manu determined that a girl would be dependent on her father in childhood, on her husband in youth, and once her lord is dead, to her sons.

Leave equality apart, girls were not even treated as a human being; they were simply commodities within the eyes of men by whom you will build your daily chores done. Women were victims of widespread illiteracy, segregation within the dark and dingy rooms within the name of purdah, forced kid wedding, indeterminable widowhood, the rigidity of fidelity and opposition to remarriage of widows turning several of them into prostitutes, polygamy, feminine infanticide, violence and made to follow Sati, and also the complete denial of individuality.

Gender inequalities are one of the most prominent manifestations of inequality on the planet. Gender equality affects each member of the community at large and shapes the very foundation of a just community, and so the problem of social inequality is of immense significance and gigantic repercussions enveloping an all-encompassing and infinite canvas.[1]

Gender disparity in India applies to wellness, employment, social and political differences between males and females in India.[2]

Gender inequality has affected several dimensions of women’s lives from job growth and advancement in mental health problems. Although legislation in India on rape, dowry, and adultery that has kept women’s safety at priority, vast discrimination seems to be troubling and moving the lives of men nowadays. Each citizen of India has also been granted certain rights to protect their interest in the community towards any aggression which are brought into force by the judiciary concerning some restrictions.[3]

“Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ)” people in India suffer legal and social difficulties that are not faced by non- persons. The nation has abolished the colonial era statutes that expressly enforced against homosexual sex and sexual identities, but other substantive provisions have not been given for, including non-discrimination or same sex marriage. Since 2014 in the famous NALSA case, the Top Court allowed them to register as the third gender of the country. Similarly, Navtej Singh Johar[4] case repealed colonial-era Section 377 and declared it as unconstitutional.

Men’s Rights in India

India may be a common-law nation with varied customs, a range of spiritual communities, and a history that goes back to centuries. India’s constitution has been a central part of social growth with the democratic principle of equality. India’s sustained political freedoms are exceptional among the developing countries of the world; however, given socioeconomic developments, there’s unprecedented misery, spiritual and social class-related brutality, separatism, or different social prejudices still widespread within the region.

Women in India are safeguarded by the various statutes in India and that they can file complaints against anyone for the infringement of their rights. Despite having equal fundamental rights given to men and females, the rights of men are not enunciated as compared to girls.

The need for gender neutrality is of high demand within the rape legislation as from the start girls are solely considered as the victim is also because of social structure prevailing in Indian society. Even because of the increase in girls’ direction and feminism, the idea of gender neutrality laws was hindered. Most of the provisions of IPC that state concerning offense against girls eludes men solely as a criminal.

Now the situation is modified, several PIL(s) are filed in varied High Court(s) and Apex Court for creating rape laws to be gender neutral. In 2017, Sanjiv Kumar had questioned the lawfulness of existing rape laws that solely think about men to be the culprit in Delhi high court. It had been mentioned that currently the situation is modified and is requisite from the society to assume “beyond the male-on-female paradigm”. Centre in its application submitted that the laws associated with rape should not be altered as some sections are requisite to stay a check on the rising crime against ladies[5]. Similarly, Apex Court laid-off the PIL by Rishi Malhotra wherever PIL mentioned creating rape laws to be created gender neutral as there are not any laws to safeguard males from harassment. The case was Rishi Malhotra v. Union of India[6].

The Law Commission suggested creating laws to be gender neutral by substituting the word “rape” with “sexual assault”. The Union Government united to form legislation to be gender-neutral after the Nirbhaya incident. Justice Verma in its report using exploitation “person” rather than “women” to hide all kinds of sexual violence. However, criminal law (Amendment) Act, 2013 rebuilt the gender-specific definition after criticism from the feminist teams because of the prevailing social structure present within the society[7].

Constitutional Provisions for Women

Our India’s Constitution not only focuses on awarding equivalent rights to women but also focuses on how to empower them in society so that they don’t face any sort of discrimination and segregation financially, economically and politically Even though some constitutional provisions like Articles 14, 15, 16, 39 and 42 of the Indian Constitution that gives the idea of gender justice like equality before the law or equal protection of the law; no discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, religion, caste, dominion or place of birth, and civil right to each person of India. There are some different articles additionally that particularly promote the thought of ladies’ upliftment within the society.

These are detailed as follows:

Article 51 (A) (e): There should be a sense of brotherhood among the citizens of India and there should be no practice related to hurting the sentiments of women.

Article 243 (D) (3): One-third of the total number of seats should be reserved for women (including for women who come from disadvantaged sections like SC/ST) in Panchayat and is to be filled by direct election.

Article 243 (D) (4): One-third of the total number of seats should be reserved for women as a chairperson in the office of Panchayat.

Article 243 (T) (3): One-third of the total number of seats should be reserved for women (including for women who come from disadvantaged sections like SC/ST) in Municipality and are to be filled by direct election.

Article 243 (T) (4): One-third of the total number of seats should be reserved for women (including for women who come from disadvantaged sections like SC/ST) in Municipality as Chairperson as the state’s legislature provides[8].

Legal Provisions for Women

To make sure there are law and order in the society and everyone follows it accordingly so that there is no disturbance in the community and everything runs smoothly there are some special laws and provisions that are made by the Centre and State’s legislature to safeguard the dignity of women. These laws and provisions are made keeping in mind that they do not face any kind of social segregation and violence against them whether it be verbally or physically. These rules and guidelines are made to help and support the working as well as non-working women of society. The acts that are worn out immoral and mala fide nature which can cause grievous hurt or harm to the opposite person are referred to as crime and these wrongful acts like Murder (Sec. 300 IPC), Cheating (Sec. 415 IPC), Robbery (Sec. 390 IPC), etc. are unlawful acts and these unlawful acts primarily against ladies are termed as “Crime Against Women”.

These are broadly classified into these categories:

  1. Wrongful Acts that are identified as Crime against women under the Indian Penal Code, 1860:
  2. Kidnapping and Abduction (Sec. 363-373)
  3. Rape (Sec. 376)
  4. Molestation (Sec. 354)
  5. Physical and Mental Torture (Sec. 498-A)
  6. Sexual Harassment (Sec. 509)
  7. Attempts and Deaths related to Dowry (Sec. 302/304-B)
  • Some Special Acts and Provisions that protect the interests of a woman:
  • The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961
  • Women’s Reservation Bill, 2008
  • The Employees State Insurance Act, 1948
  • The Criminal Law Amendment Ordinance, 2018 [9]

Transgender’s Rights in India

The Fundamental Rights are given to men and ladies of the society also are accessible to the third gender also. They have similar fundamental Rights as ours and them equally the sweetness of our constitution like Articles 14, 15 and 23, etc. The Court has lawfully recognized the third gender as Transgender in each civil additionally in criminal status. Now, they have equivalent fundamental rights and constitutional provisions as men and ladies of the society, and currently, they will relish these within the same manner. After the decriminalization of sec. 377 of IPC within the landmark judgment given by the highest Court in 2018 within the case of Navtej Singh Johar v. Union of India[10].

Certain bills that gave rights to Transgender persons are elaborated as follows:

Ø  The Rights Of Transgender Person’s Bill, 2014:

The third gender was legally recognized by the government on the order of the Supreme Court and asked them to reserve their seats for education and employment.

Ø  The Rights Of Transgender Person’s Bill, 2015:

A Private member’s bill was passed by Upper House regarding the right of a transgender person which defines transgender as a psychosomatic individual and stating about reservations[11].

  • The Transgender Persons (Protection Of Rights) Bill, 2016: Them government opposed Rajya Sabha’s bill and introduced new Transgender Person’s Bill (Protection of Rights) which defined transgender as Biotic Appearance and stating no reservations for them. The main crux of this bill was drawn from the landmark judgment given by the Top Court in the case of National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) v. Union of India[12]. Their legal identity was given to them in this case[13].

Ø  Transgender Persons (Protection Of Rights) Bill, 2017:

The bill was introduced to tackle social problems featured by the transgender and the way to empower them in society[14].

Though the constitution of India has granted equal rights to the citizens to the country, but there is some legislation like rape laws which are granting more protection to the women due to the presence of patriarchy in the society. But now the time has changed and there is a requirement from the part of lawmakers to alter these laws to make it gender neutral.

Conclusion

Most of the laws in India are so meant both the male and ladies and currently it is time for the lawmakers to incorporate transgender in those laws. But, surprisingly, the rape laws are female-centric. Gender specificity cannot be aforesaid to serve any objective in molestation law to any extent further. There is no reason to suspect the generality of sexual abuse outside the established framework. Solely the institution and implementation of gender-neutral legislation would achieve success in increasing the coverage of those crimes.

The legal definition of rape should be reassessed, sexual abuse should be categorized in compliance with the varying degrees of hurt caused by every, and each should always be represented comprehensively.

FAQs

Q.1. What Are The Rights Of Men In India?

Despite having equal fundamental rights given to men and females, the rights of men are not enunciated as compared to girls.

Q.2. What Are Women’s Rights In India?

The Indian Constitution that gives the idea of gender justice like equality before the law or equal protection of the law; no discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, religion, caste, dominion or place of birth, and civil right to each person of India along with certain specific legislations and enactments.

Q.3. What Are The Rights Of Transgender’s In India?

The Fundamental Rights are given to men and ladies of the society also are accessible to the third gender also. They have similar fundamental Rights as ours and them equally the sweetness of our constitution like Articles 14, 15 and 23, etc.

Q.4. What Is The Need Of Gender Neutrality?

Gender neutrality describes the concept that policies, language, and different social establishments ought to avoid distinctive roles consistent with people’s sex or gender, so as to avoid discrimination arising from the impression that there are social roles that one gender is additionally suited to another. Gender neutrality emphasizes on equal treatment of men and ladies socially, economically, and lawfully with no discrimination.

References


[1] Claire Melamed, Gender is just one of many inequalities that generate poverty and exclusion | Claire Melamed, The Guardian, Mar. 9, 2012, https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty  matters/2012/mar/09/gender inequality- poverty-exclusion

[2] Carol Vlassoff, Gender Differences in Determinants and Consequences of Health and Illness, 25 Journal of Health, Population, and Nutrition 47–61 (2007).

[3] COI-updated-as-31072018.pdf, http://legislative.gov.in/sites/default/files/COIupdated- as-31072018.pdf

[4] Navtej Singh Johar & Ors. v. Union of India the Secretary Ministry of Law and Justice W. P. (Crl.) No. 76 of 2016.

[5] Delhi HC issues notice to Centre in PIL seeking gender-neutral IPC rape, https://www.barandbench.com/news/delhi-high-court-rape-section-375-gender-neutral

[6] Rishi Malhotra v. Union of India Writ Petition(s)(Criminal) No(s).7/2018.

[7] Structural Violence on Women: An Impediment to Women Empowerment, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5561688/

[8]Constitutional Legal Rights.pdf, http://mospi.nic.in/sites/default/files/reports_and_publication/cso_social_statices_division/Co

[9] Important Constitutional and Legal Provisions for Women in India- Women’s Rights, http://www.legalserviceindia.com/helpline/woman_rights.html

[10] Navtej Singh Johar & Ors. v. Union of India thru. Secretary Ministry of Law and Justice W. P. (Crl.) No. 76 of 2016.

[11] Draft Rights of Transgender Persons Bill 2015.pdf,

https://www.prsindia.org/uploads/media/draft/Draft%20Rights%20of%20Transgender%20Pe

[12] National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO.604 OF 2013.

[13] The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016 | PRS India, https://www.prsindia.org/billtrack/transgender-persons-protection-rights-bill-2016

[14] Transgender-Persons-Protection-Bill-2017-.pdf, https://www.csbronline.org/wpcontent/

uploads/2017/04/Transgender-Persons-Protection-Bill-2017-.pdf

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *