“Women’s empowerment is intertwined with respect for human rights.” – Mahnaz Afkhami
Women still do not enjoy the same rights and privileges despite being half the total number of people on this planet. Our societies are riddled with patriarchy, gender discrimination, harassment of women and crimes against women. Women have still not explored their complete potential and the entire world is held back from flourishing due to this malady. “Women are the real architects of the society” according to Harriet Beecher Stowe. And we are yet to see a completely developed society owing to exclusion of women from building it along with men.
Crime against women is a crime against State.
When the women of a country aren’t completely free, suffer injustices on the hands of others, are victims of violence and crime and subject to harassment and discrimination, the whole country is doomed to lag behind. India is still patriarchal at its roots and we observe its manifestations in the treatment meted out to women. They are not allowed to study, not permitted to work, they remain dependent on the men folk, thus making it easier for the men to dominate them and keep them in a position of perpetual subjugation. The very thought that men are superior beings and women merely appendages has led to widespread violence and crime against women. They are deemed as sub humans, at times worse than animals. Indian law has various statutes to safeguard the existence of women and offenses against women could be categorised as taking place within public domain or private domain.
- Public domain – Offenses occurring within public domain target a woman outside her home, these are acts which tend to outrage her modesty or inflict physical harm on her. Some examples in this respect include eve-teasing, stalking, molestation, acid attacks, sexual abuse, honour killing, sexual harassment at place of work, being forced into prostitution, trafficking and discriminatory behaviour. There is no particular age group which is more vulnerable, a girl right after her birth is prone to being killed (female infanticide), raped and sexually abused, forced to work (child labour), or trafficked etc.
- Private domain – The offenses taking place within the confines of a woman’s home constitute those of private domain. As inhumane it may sound, at times a woman’s life is at perils more within her house as outside it. Women are subject to mental torture, physical harm, harassment for dowry demands, subject to differential treatment, denied basic needs, subject to sexual abuse at the hands of their family members etc.
The constitutional and legislative safeguards in India
Our law makers have done a commendable job of protecting the rights of women. With campaigns like #MeToo, there is greater awareness and discussions being held in public domain to make the world a safer place for women, conducive to their growth and progress. Though we have a number of legislative safeguards in place, there are instances of misuse of the same laws to falsely implicate men and their families in legal troubles and wrongly accuse them for personal gains. This is an anomaly of our laws that certain sections give blanket protection to women. Our lawyers who specialise in women issues take up cases for both aggrieved women as well as families. It is highly recommended that you approach us at the earliest so that we can plan a strategy well in time before things take a turn for worse.
Law – a double-edged sword
Our lawyers have years of experience of representing cases pertaining to Domestic Violence Act, Section 498A of IPC, dowry harassment cases and other cases related to women’s rights. It has been our objective to be able to bring about a change in the society at large through our work in the field of litigation. It is the small steps which make for a giant leap.