We've been dreaming about equality for many decades now. The news has practically saturated the print and electronic media with it. Everyone seems to be talking about equality, how important it is for a healthy society, and how to achieve it by different means and methods. Gender Inequality is one of the most visible forms of inequality around the world. As a result of a strong feminist movement that started in the middle of the twentieth century, bringing to light the gross disparities and atrocities that women face on a daily basis, there was a need to change the legislation so that women could be treated equally to men. The legislations we began with were reasonably, maybe entirely valid for the times, but the dawn of time has placed men in such a gullible role that they are victimised by the so-called women's empowerment legislations. Far less has been said about how we've turned into a penal state by passing almost every draconian law imaginable in the name of combating crimes against women, condoning illegal arrests of ordinary people, and imprisoning them in deplorable conditions.

The time has arrived for males to be seen as part of the solution rather than the constant problem. Some laws and Regulations are not only prejudiced towards women, but they also need to be amended as quickly as possible. In India, being born a male is a crime. It's also a criminal offence to marry an Indian girl. And it's all due to laws that discriminate against men in the name of protecting women. Women's rights are aimed at protecting them, but these days, women are using them as a shield to make the victim appear to be the offender.

In this research Paper we are going to discuss the Indian laws which are biased against men. We are analysing the IPC laws, Sexual Harassments at workplace laws, Domestic violence laws, divorce and custody laws which are gender biased and need to be amended soon. We have no intention of stereotyping or blaming a specific segment of the population. The sole purpose of this article is to expose the truth of women's fraudulent cases to everyone's knowledge.

The purpose of this paper is to raise social consciousness about the cruelty committed towards men in our society as a result of the misuse of gender bias laws.


Are females the only ones that are harassed? Undoubtedly not. We don't hear about men being harassed by women very often. Men, too, are subjected to sexual harassment. Women are, in fact, more victims than men. Men, on the other hand, are victims of harassment by other men and women, which must be recognised and addressed. Many implicit assumptions about women and men's natural natures are based on stereotypes and have no scientific basis. These beliefs extend to how men and women should act and what roles they should play in society.

In our Society there are gender stereotypes such as 

  1. Stereotype: - “Men are stronger than women and thus cannot be victims of domestic violence”

Potential consequence: Men may not bring cases of domestic violence to the police and judiciary.

  1. Stereotype: “Men are not good at raising children or being nurturing”

Potential consequence: : Men are not considered a good choice for custody in divorce/ custody cases, even if the father is more capable or has played a greater role in caring for the children.

A report covered by “the tribute” mentioned that even the high court has made it clear that framing a husband in a false case and making him unsuccessfully undergo a criminal trial amounted to mental cruelty and abandonment. While dealing a case of false allegation for lowering husband’s reputation in the eyes of peers, hon’ble court agreed the fact so if courts are well aware of all facts so why no action has been made regarding this for women we have a statutory body called “National commission for women” who works for women but no such statutory body for men has been made or even no one is serious about this matter so is this not a violation of our fundamental right “Right to Equality” Now the time has arrived when we have to talk about men’s too. The picture of a woman being harassed or propositioned by a male co-worker, supervisor, or boss comes to mind for most people when they think of sexual harassment in the workplace. While the majority of occurrences of workplace sexual harassment involve female victims, a growing number of examples have arisen in which both men and women abuse male employees. When we talks about the Domestic violence society thinks that only women can be a victim of Domestic violence not a men. But, Nowadays men are also a subject to Domestic violence, sexual harassment, cruelty.  In this paper we are going to highlight the laws which are against the men. For that we need to understand the Gender. How gender is defined.


Gender is defined as “the state of being male or female (usually used in reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological differences).” As a result, the term "gender" is a socio-cultural connotation or a social creation of female and male identity in and of itself. It includes how those distinctions, actual or perceived, have been valued, used, and depend on to distinguish women and men and assign roles and expectations to them. The term "sex" refers to the over-generalizations and assumptions that result from it, and culture tends to adopt gender-based "characteristics" rather than sex-based ones. Gender categorization is based on assumptions and generalisations. Gender-indicating features are so obvious that the terms gender-based differences and sex-based differences are often interchanged. Gender-based norms have now become deeply embedded in society, and society now relies on these norms to produce Masculine and Feminine characteristics that must be present in both men and women. All of these inequalities have now taken the form of ‘gender discrimination,' which is quite visible in India. Due to the patriarchal society, gender-based biases and stereotypes are “generally” towards the female portion of the Indian population.

 As a result, the need for a GENDER-NEUTRAL society has been recognised in this decade. 'Gender Neutrality,' according to the Oxford Dictionary, is an adjective that is appropriate for, applicable to, or common to both male and female genders. It refers to the principle that laws, language, and other social structures should not differentiate roles based on people's sex or gender, and that men and women should be treated equally and without discrimination legally. We aspire to live in a society where equality is defined in its true sense, and not at the expense of either gender.


In its most basic form, the Indian Penal Code is the country's main criminal code, listing all of the cases and punishments that an individual committing any crime can face, and it applies to any Indian citizen or person of Indian descent.

Every individual shall be liable to punishment under this Code and not otherwise for every act or omission contrary to the provisions thereof, of which he shall be guilty within India, according to Section 2 of the said Code. As mentioned in this section, the law does not discriminate between offenders, and anyone who commits an offence is subject to the code's penalties.

The presumption that all abuse is committed by men, on the other hand, not only creates a gender imbalance in society, but also serves as a shield for women's crimes.

Women and men commit crimes for the same purpose. Our laws should not be gendered, and neither should crime.

Now, let's look at some of the Indian Penal Code's anti-male clauses. Despite the numerous examples, we will confine our debate to four major areas of law:

 a) Dowry Death and Cruelty to Women,

b) Rape.


The word 'Dowry Death' conjures up images of a woman being taunted and threatened for money before being hanged to death within the four walls of her home. Any accidental or untimely death of a married Indian woman, according to feminists, is dowry death. Not only that, but the feminist hyperbole surrounding bride killing and dowry abuse makes it seem as if Indian men have an uncanny proclivity for violence against their wives in the name of money and land.

According to Section 304B,

       If a woman dies as a result of burns, bodily harm, or some other unusual circumstances,

       Within seven years of her marriage, she had a child.

       If she has been subjected to cruelty or abuse by her husband or any of his relatives in connection with a dowry demand, such husband or relatives shall be punished by imprisonment for a period of not less than seven years, but which may extend to life imprisonment.

Section 498A states that if a married woman is subjected to abuse and violence by her husband or a relative of her husband, the husband or relatives of the husband will be sentenced to jail for a period of time which could last up to three years, as well as a monetary penalty. This section should be read in conjunction with S. 113A of the Indian Evidence Act to provide a presumption of abetment of suicide by a married woman's husband.


In India, the offences mentioned above are non-bailable, non-compoundable, and cognizable. The obvious goal of these parts is to pin blame on the husband or in-laws, even though they were not the ones who caused the death or injury! It has become fashionable to say that all women have committed suicide as a result of dowry abuse. Even if the claim is false, a trial will be held, and the husband will be presumed guilty unless proven innocent. The Indian Supreme Court has labelled this abuse of the law as legal terrorism.

In up to 44% of these cases, the prosecution is completely unjustified. Since the accused husband and invariably family members are arrested, the repercussions of these charges are very severe. There are significant social and economic consequences.

According to figures from the National Crime Records Bureau, nearly 200,000 people, including 47,951 women, were arrested in 2012 on unfounded dowry charges. Surprisingly, only 15% of the defendants were found guilty.


To rape, you must be a male, and to be raped, you must be a woman, according to S. 375 of the IPC! Men are not recognised as rape victims in this section. Section 377 of India's anti-sodomy law is the only choice for male victims of sexual offences. The rule, on the other hand, is riddled with difficulties. And if a male survivor is attacked by a male abuser, the abuse is not considered rape. There is no distinction between consensual and non-consensual sex between male adults in the law. Furthermore, if the attacker is a woman, the victim is left with no recourse!

It's worth noting that rape and sexual assault offences were gender-neutral in the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance of 2013. The word rape was fully replaced with the term sexual harassment. However, after considerable opposition from women's organisations, the Act was amended to make the crimes of rape and sexual assault gender-specific. Feminists have made different arguments in favour of this stance, such as men not being as weak as women, men still having sex, women's inability to rape men, men not being equally affected by rape, and so on.

In a recent report, it was discovered that 16.1% of the 222 Indian men polled had been tricked into having sex. Despite the fact that male rape is not as well studied as female rape, there are many reports that indicate men are raped and that the incidence of male rape is higher than commonly assumed. Over example, for the past three months, a 16-year-old boy believed that his best friend's mother had been sexually assaulting him (2015). Male rape occurs, but it is seldom recorded. Countries with gender-neutral rape laws, without a doubt, have the lowest rape rates in the world.


The divorce and child custody laws are biased against men, because this allows divorced wives to stop men from seeing their children for long time.[1] In India, child custody is only given to the father if the mother is mentally ill or has abandoned the child at home. At the moment, two laws govern child custody in divorce cases: the Guardians and Wards Act of 1890 and the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act of 1956. However, neither statute includes options for shared parenting or joint custody. [2] If a kid is born during a marriage or within 280 days of a divorce, the child is considered legitimate and is entitled to child support and inheritance under the Evidence Act of 1872.  DNA paternity testing do not yet take precedent over this law. Courts may nonetheless decide to disregard genetic evidence and order a non-biological parent to pay child support. Children's Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting (CRISP) has lobbied for fairer child access legislation, claiming that current custody laws are gender-biased.[3]  It has asked for changes to the Guardians and Wards Act to make joint parenting a requirement.[4] The Karnataka High Court granted both parents equal custody of a 12-year-old child on September 12, 2013. The boy must live with his mother from July 1 to December 31 each year, and with his father from January 1 to June 30 each year, until he reaches the age of adulthood, according to the court. Both parents were granted visitation rights on Saturdays and Sundays, when the child was not in school. When the child was in the custody of one parent, he or she was also allowed to call or video chat with the other parent. The court also ruled that the child's education and other expenses be shared equally by both parents.[5] In a May 2015 judgement, the Mumbai Bandra family court became the first in India to require both the mother (petitioner) and the father (respondent) to establish a parenting plan, and then to establish a shared parenting plan based on the plans filed by both of them. A prior Karnataka High Court judgement did something similar, but it was not based on the creation of a shared parenting plan and did not mention it at all. This decision sets a new precedent by prioritising the best interests of the kid rather than making a show of it by awarding custody to moms and relegating fathers to the role of sole support provider.[6]


The historic case of Vishaka vs. State of Rajasthan, which was promulgated into the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 (“the Act”) in 2013, was the first codified legislation to deal with sexual harassment of women at work.[7] The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 is not gender neutral and applies to the protection of women only.[8] The bill was originally gender neutral, according to Rajesh Vakahria, a member of SIFF, until the Ministry of Women and Child Development and certain NGOs interfered and altered the name.[9] He said that it was an outdated concept to consider that only women suffer from sexual harassment. It is condemned as a type of violation of the Fundamental Right to Gender Equality and the Right to Life and Liberty entrenched in Articles 14, 15, 19(1)(g), and 21 of the Indian Constitution. In February 2020, the Supreme Court reaffirmed this position in Punjab And Sind Bank vs Durgesh Kuwar.[10] The fundamental difficulty with sexual harassment regulations is that they are not gender-neutral, i.e., only an aggrieved woman can submit a sexual harassment complaint in the current state of affairs. Men and transgender people are not allowed to bring a sexual harassment complaint at work under the law.[11] No one believes or listens when a man tries to convey his emotions or explain his issues, harassing encounters, or hardships; instead, they laugh it off. Some males are even embarrassed to discuss it. Everyone in India says that women are the only ones who are victims. Those constant examples of harassment against men, on the other hand, go ignored. Thousands of surveys and statistics on crime against women are available on the internet, but few research and surveys on crime against men by women are undertaken. There is no doubt that women are subjected to more harassment than men. However, there are a number of male victims who must be adequately addressed. The main issue is that just a few laws in India are gender-biased and in favour of women. As a result, a number of women take use of legal provisions to harass and torment men. To be clear, we are not implying that every woman does it; rather, India has a considerable number of such examples. Human rights must be equitable for everyone, regardless of gender, colour, or socioeconomic status. Likewise, laws must be equal for all people, regardless of gender. Criminal crimes of any form of harassment must be handled with as soon as possible, and harsh measures must be applied. According to a survey performed by St Xavier's College, 66% of respondents felt that women abuse the laws designed to protect them in order to exact revenge or harass males. The goal of this poll, which was done among 2000 persons in Mumbai, was to address the fact that men are also subjected to harassment and discrimination. According to a recent poll conducted by the Economic Times and Synovate, almost 38% of males asked in 7 major Indian cities acknowledged to having experienced workplace harassment in some manner. According to a recent Marketplace-Edison Research Poll 2017, approximately one in every five men in the United States has experienced sexual harassment at work. The New York Times ran another poll.[12]

Overall, the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act of 2013 is a comprehensive piece of law aimed at ensuring women's safety at work. However, in terms of gender neutrality, the Act leaves a gap. With the approval of Acts such as the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019, it is more important than ever for the Indian legislature to establish sexual harassment laws all-encompassing, gender-neutral, and progressive in the twenty-first century. Though the Justice Verma Committee, chaired by Justice J.S. Verma, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Leila Seth, the first woman judge of the Delhi High Court who went on to become the Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh High Court, and Sr. Adv. Gopal Subramanian, who served as Solicitor General of India, suggested more legislation for gender neural rights after the Nirbhaya event, but it was not passed by the legislators.[13]



Domestic violence act provides protection to wives and female live-in partners from domestic violence carried out by husbands, male live-in partners or their relatives. Men, like women, are victims of gender-based violence in India. Because most women are victims of violence, there is a widespread misconception that domestic violence is gender-specific, which is incorrect. In a patriarchal or male-dominated society like India, it can be difficult to comprehend that even men can be victims of domestic violence. Domestic violence against men has become more common in recent years. Gender-based violence affects 52.4 percent of married men in India, according to a survey of 1000 married men ranging in age from 21 to 49 years old in rural communities of Haryana. In their lifetime, 51.5 percent of men have been subjected to some form of torture or violence by their spouses or intimate partners. In the recent year, 10.5 percent of men have been subjected to gender-based violence by their spouses or intimate partners. Emotional abuse is the most common form of spousal or domestic violence against men, with physical abuse coming in second.[14]

Many cases go undetected, since males are either ashamed to disclose abuse or are afraid of false allegations in retaliation. Men frequently feel discriminated against or nervous about speaking up about the violence they witness because they are afraid of being judged and labelled as wimpy and effeminate. They believe that their fight against violence will be in vain due to the Indian Constitution's gender-specific rules and clauses. They believe they have failed in their protective position. Men frequently believe that disclosing the violence will cause undue inconvenience, and they do not want to face legal consequences as a result of our Constitution's gender-biased or gender-specific legislation. They believe they must leave their families and do not want to lose custody of their children, which may be a lengthy procedure.[15] Swarup Sarkar, founder of SIFF, has said that there is no legal provision for married men facing verbal or mental abuse.[16] In collaboration with Confidare Research, the Indian Social Awareness and Activism Forum (INSAAF) has produced a bill to protect men and boys from domestic abuse perpetrated by their spouses, girlfriends, and parents. Saving Men from Intimate Terrorism Act (SMITA) is the name of the proposal, which the organisations hope to propose in parliament for consideration.[17] The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, or PWDVA, 2005 or DV Act in short, is very clear on one point.  It is only for protection of women (practically speaking only wives use it) in a household.  The name of the act itself makes it very clear. In 2017, the High Court of Karnataka issues an opinion that appears to redefine the entire DV Act by recommending that a complaint made by a husband against his wife and in-laws be examined. It also refers to a Supreme Court decision (Harsora vs Harsora) that modified the definition of "respondent" under the DV Act to include both male and female respondents.[18] A huge number of sadhus have left their marriages to become holy men or yogis in Madhya Pradesh's Jabalpur, Amarkantak, and Hoshangabad regions.

 According to statistics collected between 2013 and 2014 by family counselling centres in Jabalpur, 70 percent of complainants had harassed spouses. In the region, almost 4,500 husbands are absent from family court records. A local intervenes to prevent the police from pursuing males who have divorced their wives and became sadhus.[19] Domestic abuse against men has risen dramatically in India recently as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown. In April 2020, 1,774 men from 22 Indian states contacted the Save Indian Family (SIF) organisation, citing domestic assault by their spouse.[20] During the shutdown, multiple incidents of groom burning have also been reported in various districts of India.[21]


As previously mentioned, our laws are used as a tool against men and their families. They're used to settle grudges and exact vengeance. Because equality is at the heart of feminism, we should all agree that gender-neutrality is the first step toward achieving it and, as a result, establishing Article 14 of the Constitution in its true sense. As a result, gender neutrality has little to do with feminism. Rather, it aims to achieve the feminist goal of equality! It requires equally enjoyment by both women and men of social valued goods, all the opportunities and the resources and rewards.

The first important thing to grasp is that we must eliminate stereotypes from society. We frequently hear elders say things like, "You are a man, Men will never cry." Is this true? Of course not, which is why laws are only applicable to women. Even if men wish to take action against these things, the police will mock them or advise them not to register any complaints. Even when guys wish to take action against these things, the police will mock them or advise them not to register a complaint since they are guys. After the Nirbhaya case, a new glimmer of hope emerged, with the demand for gender-neutral laws, but this hope was dashed in the case of “Rishi Malhotra versus Union of India.” However, the Law Commission advised that we replace the words that emphasise any specific gender with the word human, which covers both genders. As a result, it is critical that we remove laws that discriminate between men and women. Everyone, whether she is a woman or a man, is entitled to the same respect, thus laws will be the same.


About the Author: This Legal Article is prepared by Mr. Avinash Singh, law student at Delhi Meteropolitan Education, Noida and is an intern at MyLawman. He can be reached at singhk.avinash4@gmail.com. 

About the Co-Author: This Legal Article is Co- Authored by Ms. Shatakshi Srivastava, law student at PSIT College of Law and is an intern at MyLawman. She can be reached at shatakshisri2329@gmail.com. 

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