Gender equality is the most important fundamental right for every person, but it is essential for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. Every child has a right to reach her or his full potential, but gender inequalities keeps their lives stop achieving the goal. There are risks, violations and vulnerabilities girls face and suffer from economic, political, social and cultural disadvantages in their daily lives.
Due to gender discrimination, norms and practices, girls suffer from child marriage, teenage pregnancy, child labour, poor education and inadequate nutrition, sexual abuse, exploitation and violence. These practices will not stop unless girls are valued more.
What is gender inequality?
Gender inequality refers to inequalities between men and women on the factors like health, education, economy and politics. It causes unequal opportunities for women and they are considered less important than men.
Gender equality is a basic fundamental human right and that right is violated by gender-based discrimination. Gender disparity starts in childhood and may affect the career, social development of a person.
Gender discrimination is prohibited in almost every nation. International laws also provide equal gender rights between men and women, the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women is an international bill that prohibits gender discrimination Various treaties and bills are formed to remove gender discrimination.
Getting protection from gender discrimination and gender inequality is necessary for the social, economic and political development of society. It is recognized in both law and policy that promoting gender equality is the foremost objective for a more prosperous and peaceful world.
The Indian Constitution provides principles for gender equality. The Preamble, Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties and Directive Principles ensure equal rights and opportunities for every citizen and provide various provisions to reduce gender inequalities. The Constitution not only grants equal rights and opportunities to women and provides necessary provisions and amendments for providing security and safety to women but also empowers the State to adopt measures to reduce discrimination in favour of women. Various laws, policies, plans and programmes have aimed at women's empowerment.
(i) (Article 14)Equality before the law and equal protection of laws -ensures every person the rights that all people, regardless of birth, ethnicity, gender or race, are alike before the law.“Equal protection of laws”provides a safeguard of laws for every individual within the region of India.
(ii) (Article 15 (i))-It protects the citizen from getting discriminated against based on race, sex, caste, religion etc. Discrimination means to make an adverse distinction or distinguish unfavourable from others.
(iii) (Article 15 (3))- It provides distinctive provisions in favour of women and children for their growth and advancement in society.
(iv) (Article 16)– Providing equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters of employment or appointment to any office under the State.No citizen shall be ineligible or discriminated against for matters of employment or jobs.
(v) (Article 39) -Secures for men and women equal rights and ensures adequate means of livelihood and men and women shall be paid equal pay for equal work. prevents the children to do hazardous work
(vi) (Article 39 A) - free legal aid to the poor and weaker section securing justice to the people of India and people get early access to redress of their complaints.
(vii) (Article 42)– ensuring adequate means of livelihood and making provision for securing just and humane conditions of work and for maternity relief and also protects the interest of women and children also provide early childhood care
(viii) (Article 46) - The State shall promote special care of education and economic interests and protect them from social injustice and exploitation. Provide education to children free of cost till 14 years.
(ix) (Article 47)–It is one of the Directive principles. Raising the level of nutrition and the standard of living and improving the health of people is its main aim.
(x) (Article 51(A) (e))– Fundamental duty which promotes harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India TRANSCENDING RELIGIOUS, LINGUISTIC AND RELIGIOUS DIVERSITIES and to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women
The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976
This Act provides for equal pay or remuneration to men and women for the same work. No employer shall be discriminated against while recruiting and prevent discrimination on the ground of sex in the matter of employment.
The Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2013
The Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2013 came into force on February 3, 2013, popularly known as the Anti-rape bill. This Act added some new offences under the Indian penal code such as sexual harassment under sec. 354 A, Assault or criminal force to women with intent to disrobe under sec- 354 B, voyeurism under sec – 354 C, stalking under – sec – 354 D. It is the most concrete steps taken by the government of India to reduce crimes against women.
Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2013
This act protects women from harassmentat their place of work and it protects the right of women which are violated under the women’s fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution of India. The right to work with dignity is a basic fundamental right enshrined under Article 21. It also provides prevention and redressal of grievances of sexual harassment.
The principle of equality has been embodied in our constitution as a symbol to denote the laws which are made for the citizen to reduce gender inequalities. In an incredibly diverse society like India, gender inequalities remain a major barrier to human development. For every wrong, there are laws that the constitution describes like social justice, equality, liberty and fraternity as the binding force.
About The Author
The Stambh Organization ,India