Indian constitution does not discriminate between caste, class, creed, and sex. Every citizen of India enjoys the same fundamental rights. However, time and again, people have used their freedom to oppress other sections and communities.
This is where legislation and the judiciary intervene. After centuries of struggle and oppression, women in India have certain rights that were initially enjoyed only by men. There are certain special rights that women have that legally allows them complete bodily autonomy.
We talked to Tanya Appachu, a Lawyer and Social Media Content Creator, and asked her about special rights, excluding fundamental rights, that Indian women must know about.
Daughters Have Rights To Properties Of Parents
According to the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act 2005, girls have equal rights to their parents’ properties irrespective of how they acquired them. Both sons and daughters are entitled to ancestral and self-acquired properties of parents in case they do not leave a registered will behind.
If a Hindu person dies, the division of the property will be equal between their sons and daughters. Similarly, grandsons and granddaughters are equally entitled to ancestral properties owned by their paternal or maternal grandparents if they do not leave a registered will behind.
Women Have Right To Free Legal Aid
The Legal Services Authorities Act of 1987 extends to the whole of India and offers women the right to free legal aid. It offers competent and unpaid legal services to the weaker sections of society to ensure every citizen gets justice and isn’t denied on the grounds of economic or other disabilities.
An aggrieved woman can apply for a pro bono lawyer on nalsa.gov.in. She can also directly walk into a Legal Services Authority office in the court complex of the city and apply for a request.
Women Can Terminate Pregnancy Up To 24 Weeks
According to the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Act, of 1971, both married and unmarried women can terminate pregnancy up to 24 weeks. On September 29, the Supreme Court of India said all women are entitled to safe and legal abortion, irrespective of their marital status.
Right To Privacy For Victims Of Sexual Harassment
On October 31, 2022, the Supreme Court of India banned the two-finger test on victims of sexual harassment. It said that the test has no scientific basis. “Probative value of testimony does not depend on sexual history,” the bench was quoted saying.
The court granted women the right to privacy while calling the test ‘patriarchal and sexist’. It also said, “It is regrettable that the two-finger test continues to be conducted even today.”
Protection Of Women From Domestic Violence
According to the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act of 2005, the law protects women from mental, physical, sexual, verbal, financial and emotional abuse by in-laws, husbands and parents
Every Woman Can Claim Maternity Benefits For Six Months
The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017, extends 26 weeks of paid leaves to married or unmarried women. This includes eight weeks of prenatal leaves.
Women who adopt a child less than three months of age are entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave. The law also includes that pregnant women can get legal aid if fired by the company for carrying a baby.