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Traditional and Constitutional Rights of Women after Independence of India


Traditional and Constitutional Rights of Women after Independence of India 


Traditional right of women after independence :


During the colonial period, many reform movements were launched to ameliorate the position of women, which resulted in the government passing certain social legislation. The condition of women in Indian society, therefore, became more satisfying than the medieval and colonial period after independence. These efforts continued after independence. The spread of education after independence and industrialisation led to a new awareness among women.

Women became self - sufficient in economic terms so that their dependence on men was reduced. After independence, women from the middle classes also started learning and earning their livelihood.

At present, the number of women in various personal and public enterprises is increasing. Being economically self - dependent, their importance in family and society is increasing. The attainment of economic independence has resulted in a substantial increase in the self - confidence, capacity of women and mental status.


Presently women is an important manager of the family. Women play an important role in formulating family plans. Love marriage, inter - caste marriage have become a common phenomenon since the early days of the marriage of children, sati and other religious observances. Yet, women are still subjected to exploitation in various fields. Incidents of divorce are increasing day by day. The male dominated society finds itself at ease in accepting the revolutionary change in women 's life.

Before independence, women have now renounced unwittingly the customs and traditions they had adopted. Many progressive organisations set up by women at present have come into existence. Membership of these organisations is increasing day by day. What is important is the positive change in the outlook of rural women.


Political awareness of the women of independence also increased. The increase in the political awareness of women is evident from the following facts:

In the 1937 elections, only 10 women participated when 41 seats were secured for women, while in 1957, 342 women were candidates for the elections for the state legislatures. In the first lok sabha (1952) the number of elected women MPS was only 22 whereas in the fourteenth lok sabha (2004) the number of elected women MPS increased to 44. Currently, there are women chief ministers in many states of India. Indira Gandhi was the prime minister of India for a long time. Sonia Gandhi was the President of the all India congress.


Legal rights of women after independence 


The constitution of India confers important rights on women as equals to men. Equally fundamental rights have been given to all men and women. Besides, state governments have also been given the right to enforce legislation from time to time to protect the interests of women. Such steps have been taken by the state governments from time to time in order to establish social justice. In view of the rise of status of women in independent India, the following legislations have been passed:

1. Special Marriage Act, 1954 – Under this Act, different religious people have been allowed to marry without changing their religion. The minimum age of marriage has been fixed at 21 years for boys and 18 years for girls.


2. Hindu Marriage and Divorce Act, 1955 – The minimum age of marriage was fixed at 18 years for boys and 15 years for girls, but later it has been fixed at 21 years and 18 years respectively. Polygamy has been prohibited and divorce has been arranged on grounds.

3. Hindu Succession Act, 1956- According to this, any woman can give a part of the property to her heirs by making a will. The basis on which the property of an evicted person will be divided among the heirs has also been provided under this Act.


4. Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, 1956 – According to Section 8 of this Act, a Hindu woman who is healthy, not minor and not disabled or disabled, her marriage is dissolved or her husband is dead or has finally left the world or has not been a Hindu or has been declared unwell by a court with a competent jurisdiction. You can adopt a daughter or a son.

Section 9 of the Act requires the consent of both the parents of the adopted child. None of them has died or the father has not completely left the world, none of them is a Hindu or has been declared unwell by a court with competent jurisdiction.


5. The immoral trade act, 1956 - This act prohibits trade of women and girls for prostitution. This provides for stringent punishment for prostitution related offences.

6. The Hindu minority and guardianship act, 1956 - as per the act, it provides that wife 's consent is necessary for the adoption of a daughter.


7. The dowry prohibition act, 1961- as per section 3 & 4 of the act, the stringent punishment for the payment of dowry has been provided. Sentence may consist of six months imprisonment or rs 5000 fine or both.

In 1984, the central government passed an amendment act which was brought into force on 2nd October 1985. E 1986 h ye The act was re - amended and the fine amount was increased to rs. 15, 000 and the sentence period of five years. 1985 At the same time, it was kept under the category of non - bailable offence. Dowry deaths were included in the Indian penal code by this act. The act provides for the sentence of imprisonment from seven years to life imprisonment.


8. The medical termination of pregnancy act, 1971- according to this act, the abortion was declared valid by persons trained on human and medical grounds.

9. The criminal procedure code, 1973 - provides that a female offender should be searched by a woman only and a medical examination of a woman must be conducted by a registered woman only.


10. The equal pay act, 1979 - In order to bring about a substantial improvement in the social and economic condition of women, the same pay was made available to women to men for equal work.

In addition to the above statutory measures, in addition to the above mentioned legislative measures, some other schemes and programmes have also made efforts for the upliftment of women, which are briefly mentioned below:


(i) Literacy programme for age group of 15 to 45 years was launched. Women are being given informal education in different contexts under it.

(ii) village women guilds have been set up to promote women in rural areas.

(iii) 'training centres' have been set up to train disadvantaged women in the age group of 18 to 50 years in various trades.

(iv) to provide assistance in employment and training to women. In 1987 a programme was started.


(v) March 2 October 1983 goes into the world Women 's prosperity scheme was launched in the country as a whole.

(vi) 33% of seats were reserved for women in panchayati raj institutions and municipal councils.

(vii) A 'national fund' was set up for women to provide loans to the women in need.

(viii) The national commission for women was set up in 1992.

(ix) The scheme of axiom was started in 650 blocks from March 2001.

(x) The janni suraksha scheme for women of below poverty line families was launched in April, 2005. A fully centrally sponsored scheme has replaced the erstwhile national maternity benefit scheme.