Image result for GENDER INEQUALITY CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS

As the word inequality pops up the image of weighing machine is created in mind, which depicts imbalance on both sides. Gender is described as either male or female as per our Indian law. If we combine both the words i.e. gender and inequality then we came to know about giving more priority or giving favouritism to any one of the genders. It is well known by everyone that our society gives more privilege to man than women. Women are treated as inferior and they have to face certain challenges which are imposed on them by our society. In epoch, the condition of women was really very critical and miserable as compared to the current scenario. Earlier women were treated as a liability and they have to face severe problems and it is woeful to say that this situation still continues in our community. In the weighing machine, the side of men is upper than women in all the perspective such as economic, political, education etc., giving more preference to men in all the fields. This discrimination affects the whole life of women from her mental development to her career development. Earlier women were not allowed to work and they were forced to stay at home but as the time changes women started to work and economy has grown after the working of women but women are not appreciated for her initiative. 
Article 14 of the Indian constitution ensures the equality.[1] There are gender wage differentials,[2] women devote their more time and efforts in their work, also they do their work more sincerely and responsibly and rather than getting appreciation, they get paid less than what the men get.[3] Our statistics showed that women get 45% of pay what men get by doing some work. Also women have faced sexual assaults or gender violence at the workplace.[4] Millions of women have to accept unwelcome sexual intercourse because of the fear of losing job. Female workers are pressurized to follow all the prescribed directions which resist them from taking their own initiative.[5] Now at somewhere, this problem is solved by an Act enacted in 2013 by the Ministry of Woman and Child Development to curb this problem. The Prevention/Prohibition of Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, 2013 intends to aware every citizen of India about their rights at working place.[6] It ensures a safe workplace for women. This Act properly defines sexual harassment and what are the actions against them, how the women can seek relief under this act.[7] As per Article 15 (3) of the constitution the state is empowered to make special provision for women.[8] Equality of every person is guaranteed under article 14 of the Indian constitution but still, inequality prevails at the workplace and to prevent them more deeply this act covers all the possible action. By this act women feel safe at working place and they don’t back out from their work. It is calculated that after this act the percentage of working women is increased which overall leads the economic growth. Some awareness event was also done by the government to aware the women about their personal rights. women get encouraged for taking good initiative, additionally, equal pay equal work ensures that every worker get the same pay, bonus, non-salary allowances, other benefits for the same work done. Women can seek relief under article 16(2) which states that no citizen shall be discriminated against any employment or office under the state of the ground of sex.[9] Article 39(d) includes equal pay for equal work. In the case, State of Haryana vs. Rajpal Sharma Supreme Court held that teacher of both schools whether it is private or government both will be entitled to the same salary. At some places, women are forced to work outside their home. To prevent unwillingly work constitutions seeks relief under article 23(1) which prohibits the forced labour and also under article 39(e) which ensures the health and condition of women and prevent them from the coercion of economy to work.[10] Women not only have to face inequality outside their home but also at their home or in their relations. Dowry ( i.e. goods which can include anything are given to bridegroom or his relatives on their demand by the family of bride)is the main condition of marriage and it created a lot of problem in society as it creates a lot of chaos as family of bride are under pressure to give dowry for accomplishment of marriage of their daughter.[11] 
People generally think it’s a compulsion as per their rituals but they are not aware of the law which states that dowry is an offence under Indian penal code as per the section 498(A)& 304(B) which deals with the cruelty of women for dowry. Women get relief under Dowry Prohibition Act 1961.[12] Before the stage of dowry, many little girls have to face child marriage also. Girls below 18 years get married to very old man just because their families want to lighten their burden and most of the time for the sake of money, but this is prevented under article 23(1) which deals with the prevention of traffic of human beings. Child Marriage Prohibition Act took place to support this article which completely prohibits child marriage. After all these women have to face inequality in getting a divorce. Earlier men gave divorce by saying only three words “talaq-talaq-talaq”[13] and they didn’t ask for the consent of women which was the violation of the fundamental rights of women. For the protection of their rights the bill was raised in both houses for declaring this type of divorce void as it violates the article 44 of Indian constitution which in reference to directive principles deals which uniform civil code. Now for getting divorce consent of both spouses are mandatory which makes both wife and husband equal. women faces discrimination in the field of education as they are restricted at some level to study and they have very less opportunity to learn which makes them inferior from men.[14] This degradation is recognized by the government and it took several steps to build up the base of girl.[15] 
The Constitution (86th amendment) Act, 2002 inserted Article 21-A of Indian constitution deals with free and compulsory education for all which includes women without any discrimination on any basis. Politics is the major area where discrimination takes place at an enormous rate. It is said that women are not meant for politics, it is men thing and here the vital discrimination takes place. This discrimination leads women not to participate in political affairs and keeping them away from this. Later on our Constitution gives women right under its Article 243-D(3) which states that it is obligatory to reserve one-third of total seats for women in panchayat,[16] which will fortify the women to participate in their village affairs and they can also decide something for their villages. Other article 243-T(3) and 243-T (4) which states that one-third of total seats should be reserved for women in every municipality and reservation for the chairpersons in the municipality offices. After pertinence to this article at some extent women started to enter into politics field.[17] Sonia Gandhi, Sheila Dikshit, Sushma Swaraj, Mamta Banerjee, Mayawati are examples of great women politicians. This is the result of our constitution that today we are having such great female politicians. History has stood to prove the dazzling work done by our female politicians. 

No doubt at every stage there can be found to be some gender discrimination but anyhow we managing to control that and treating all person equally through the help of law and Constitution. Our constitution ensures that no one is left out. Every person should be aware of his/her rights and he/she should seek relief from that.


[1] Girish v. State of Karnataka, 1993
State of Kerala v. N.M. Thomas (1976) 2 SCC 310
[2] Government of India (1991), Report of the National Commission on Rural Labor, Ministry of Labor, New Delhi
[3] Sanjit Roy v. State of Rajasthan
Hindustan Antibiotics v. Workmen
[4] Vishaka & ors v. State of Rajasthan on 13th August 1997
[5] Prof. Manohar Dhonde v. the State of Maharashtra on 26th September 2006
[6]  P.K. Puthuppan v. K.S Girija on 27th August 2008
[7] Naz foundation v. government of NCT of Delhi o 2nd July 2009
[8] Priyanka Sharma and ors v. State (Panchayati Raj) ors on 15th March 2013
[9] Auditor General of India v. G Ananta Rajeswara Rao on 8th April,1933.
[10] Seenath Beevi v. State of Kerala on 3rd September 2003, it is mainly covered under article 21 of constitution. Read it with article 41 and 43 of Indian Constitution.
[11] Rajinder Bhardwaj v. Mrs. Anita Sharma on 28th October,1992
[12] Deepal Srivastav v. NCT of Delhi on 30th August, 2017
[13] Safiya & anr v. Shafiq Ahmad Mir on 24th April,2018
[14]  R. Kannan v. Government of Tamil Nadu on 4th June,2014
[15] Amarjit Singh v. Smt. Khatoon Quamarain on 18th November 1986
[16] K. Krishna Murthy & ors v. Union of India & anr on 11 May,2010
[17] Union of India v. Rajesh Kumar on 12th January 2010

The author is Ms. Amisha Gupta, Student of Law at UPES, Dehradun. She can be reached at [email protected] The views expressed here are personally of the author. .alert-success