Five laws that every Indian woman should know

To be a good and responsible citizen of our country, we should know what is right and what is wrong. The law will help us understand the difference between the two. While it is not possible for us to be informed about all the laws that are prevalent in the Indian legal system today, it is worth knowing these 5 laws, especially for women. If you are a woman, these laws will help you understand your rights better, so that you can behave as a responsible citizen, at all times.

Equality in pay

According to the Equal Remuneration Act of 1976, you are entitled to receive equal pay as your male colleague, if you both are doing the same quality and quantity of work. If you notice an alarming pay dispute at your workplace, get legal help right away, as you can get compensated as per this law.

Divorce Laws

Getting married? Here are some divorce laws you should be aware of, as per the Indian Divorce (Amendment) Act, 2001:

You can apply for divorce if you have been subjected to marital rape; if your husband has been getting intimate you without your consent, this law allows you to file for divorce.

If you or your husband have been diagnosed with a communicable STD (sexually transmitted disease) for 2 years or more before your marriage, you can file for divorce.

Sexual confrontations at the workplace

It’s such a shame that even in the advanced world of today many women are subjected to sexual assaults at their workplace in India and worldwide. The more worrying factor is that most of the women don’t speak up. However, the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act of 2013 says that you can file a sexual harassment case on the offender if:

  • He tries to get physically intimate with you through sexual advances
  • He shows pornographic material to you
  • Physical, verbal or non-verbal behaviour that is sexual in nature
  • He demands sexual favours from you
  • He makes sexually coloured remarks against you

Speak up if you notice these things; quote the law and get the offender punished as early as possible to walk with your head held high in the society.

Termination of Pregnancy

Carrying a baby is the best moment in your life. However, when the doctor tells you that your pregnancy could affect your physical or mental health, you have every right to medically terminate your pregnancy, if you are in your first trimester. Also, if your circumstances do not favour or support you being a mother, you can terminate your pregnancy. These are the conditions prescribed by the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act of 1971.

Maternity benefit

Many ladies bear the brunt of inconsiderate bosses and long working hours while they are pregnant. Though it affects their health, many of them don’t speak up for fear of losing their jobs. However, here is some good news for all pregnant women. According to the Maternity Benefit (Amendment)   Act of 2017, pregnant mothers are eligible for a paid maternity leave for 26 weeks. After this, they can mutually agree with their employer if they can work from home or not. Adoptive and commissioning mothers are eligible for a 12-week long paid maternity leave which starts from the day of adoption.  If the company has a crèche, young mothers can leave their kids there and visit the crèche for a maximum of 4 times per day.

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