AN ARTICLE ON WOMEN SAFETY IN INDIA
In the past few years, the safety of women in India has been down because of some continuous and terrible crimes against women. There has been decline in the women status from ancient to medieval period which is continued in such an advanced era. Women of India have equal rights as like as men of this country as they occupy almost half population of the country and involved in half proportion in the growth and development of the country.
It is true that women in modern India are joining high offices (President, Speaker of Lok Sabha, Union Ministers, Leader of Opposition, Chief Minister, Governor, etc) however on the back of curtain they are being exploited too. According to the Constitution of India, they have equal rights of dignity, equality, and freedom from gender discrimination. Indian women are continuously facing numerous problems such as sexual harassment, violent victimization through rape, acid attack, dowry deaths, forced prostitution, and many more.
Education and Economic Development
Number of women heading the households in India is found decreased though female literacy rate is still less than male literacy rate. Urban girls are nearly equal in education like boys however in the rural areas there is still a big gap. On the other hand, some Indian states (like Kerala and Mizoram) have achieved universal female literacy. So, women in such states have high social and economic status. Women literacy rate in India is still less because of the inadequate school facilities, sanitary facilities, increasing crimes against women, shortage of female teachers, gender discrimination in the society, etc. According to the statistics of 2015, it is found that women (above 15 years or older) literacy rate is 60.6% whereas male literacy rate is 81.3%.
Crimes against women in India
There is a big list of crimes against women in India such as acid attack, child marriages, domestic violence, forceful domestic work, child abuse, dowry deaths, female infanticide and sex-selective abortions, child labour, honor killings, rape, sexual harassment, trafficking, forced for prostitution, and many more.
What are Safety Laws for Women in India
There is a list of safety laws for women in India working in the field to provide safety to the women from all type of crimes against women. Some safety laws are Child Marriage Restraint Act 1929, Special Marriage Act 1954, Hindu Marriage Act 1955, Hindu Widows Remarriage Act 1856, Indian Penal Code 1860, Dowry Prohibition Act 1961, Maternity Benefit Act 1861, Foreign Marriage Act 1969, Indian Divorce Act 1969, Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act 1971, Christian Marriage Act 1872, Code of Criminal Procedure 1973, Equal Remuneration Act 1976, Married Women’s Property Act 1874, Births, Deaths & Marriages Registration Act 1886, Indecent Representation of Women (Prevention) Act 1986, Muslim women (protection of rights on divorce) Act 1986, Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act 1987, National Commission for Women Act 1990, Prohibition of Sex Selection Act 1994, Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005, Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012, Sexual Harassment of Women at Work Place Act 2013, etc.
Another Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Bill, 2015 has been passed replacing the existing Indian juvenile delinquency law of 2000 (Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000). This act was passed by the Lok Sabha on 7th of May in 2015 and however, by the Rajya Sabha on 22nd of December in 2015. This act is passed to lower down the juvenile age from 18 to 16 years in cases of heinous offense (especially after the release of Nirbhaya’s case accused juvenile).
Despite of formation of various effective rules and regulations by the Indian government to handle and control the crimes against women, the number and frequency of crimes against women are increasing day by day. Women status in the country has been more offensive and dreadful in the last few years. It has decreased the confidence level of women for safety in their own country. Women are in doubtful condition for their safety and have fear while going anywhere else outside their home (office, market, etc). We should not blame the government because women safety is not only the responsibility of government only, it is the responsibility of each and every Indian citizen especially men who need to change their mind set for women.