In a country like ours, where a majority of a population is unable to read or write i.e illiterate, it becomes almost like a necessity to be aware of our rights, not only for our welfare but also for the welfare of the ones who are not aware of their rights.
A major concern in today's era is, that anyone can fool you and push you to do things by taking advantage of your lack of awareness of your rights, and for that, you cannot hold anyone else responsible but yourself.
So here are some laws which can be useful to know, if you consider yourself a responsible citizen of India!
1. The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2005
It’s a sad reality, that even today, this term is very prevalent in rural areas and small cities.
It gets unnoticed by us, but it’s no less than a crime, putting innocent children into the heavy responsibility and bond of marriage that too in age at which they are supposed to smile and play innocently on the fields.
- This act came into force in 2007.
- It aims at eliminating child marriage and defines it as a marriage where the girl is under 18 years of age and the boy is younger than 21 years. They will be considered underage.
- Make a change and ask your domestic help if they are still aware of child marriages going on in their villages or areas and report it if they still do.
2. Dowry Prohibition Act,1961
Dowry is defined as an amount of property or money brought by a bride to her husband on their marriage.
It still exists in our society and is no less than a shame. It is not like a small gift, it is more like a deal, where the bride’s parents are expected to blow up their lifetime savings and present all sorts of royalties to the groom’s family.
- According to this act, the act of taking or giving dowry at the time of marriage to the bride or the husband and their family is strictly prohibited.
- Please ensure, before deciding to marry someone, you know whether their family will be accepting you without dowry or won't even think to, without it. And don’t shut down your voice. It's your right.
3. Indian Divorce Act,1969
Sometimes, even the best of marriages can turn into a rut, and the only way to attain your mental peace back would be ending the marriage legally.
- This act is important as it empowers a woman’s independence and acknowledges their will to break free from a bond of marriage.
- This act allows the end of a marriage, with mutual consent, judicial separation, and also lists down all the conjugal rights like alimony, the share of the property, etc.
Don’t let anyone cage you, girl!
4. Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act,1971
With increasing cases of teenage pregnancies, pregnancies caused due to rape, this law plays a vital role in our country.
- The Act came into effect in 1972, as amended in 1975 and 2002.
- It aims to reduce the cases of illegal abortions as they can be life-threatening and give a spike in maternal mortality and morbidity rates.
- The act lists, under which a pregnancy can be aborted and allows a certain individual to conduct it based on those parameters.
5. Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013
Sexual harassment which is a dark side of the society, which is responsible for impacting a woman’s life to a large extent can, unfortunately, take place anywhere, even at a workplace.
- This act aims to eradicate this devil of our society and also aims to elicit a fear from the law to make people know that sexual harassment is not tolerable.
- Sexual harassment also includes suggestive behaviour, holding or touching someone inappropriately to seek comfort, innuendoes, and being at a private place with a female colleague.
These are some rights which every woman must know, to protect herself and others too. Spread this awareness of these basic laws, so that no woman ever has to think twice before claiming her right.
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