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Home > Know Your Rights > Rights of Women
FAQ's | Landmark Judgements | Legal Frameworks


Q1.  What is meant by women’s rights?

A1.  Women are integral part of any society. In India, unfortunately, women are not treated well. There are certain rights that need to be given to women to ensure that they lead their life with complete dignity.


Q2.  What rights should a woman have?

A2.  A woman must have the right to equality, right to equality of opportunity in public employment, right to get equal pay for equal work, right to representation, right against exploitation, right  to get maternity benefits, right against domestic violence etc.


Q3.  What are women’s right of inheritance in India?

A3.  A women is fully entitled to inherit her ancestral property. She has now equal share in her ancestral property along with her brothers. Also, she has the proprietary right over the stridhan that she gets on her marriage.


Q4.  I am a pregnant working woman. What right do I have with respect to that?

A4.  You are entitled to getting a maternity leave of upto 12 weeks i.e. 6 weeks before and 6 weeks after your delivery. During that period you are entitled to receive your full wages and no deductions whatsoever can be made by the employer regarding that. Any employer who refuses to pay such benefits to you is punishable with imprisonment or fine or both.


Q5.  What can a woman do if her in-laws constantly make demands for dowry?

A5.  Giving and taking of dowry has been expressly prohibited under Indian law. Any person who demands, directly or indirectly, any dowry, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a minimum term of six months and maximum of two years and with fine upto ten thousand rupees. You can report such instance to the nearest police station or can file a case in the court against such demands.


Q6.  What are the rights of woman facing domestic violence?

A6.  A woman subjected to domestic violence has been empowered by the Domestic Violence Act of 2005. They can approach the court under this act and the court will appoint a Protection officer or an NGO for their protection. Also, the person causing harm to woman will be forbidden to do so by the court. If still the violence continues, then the culprit is punishable with imprisonment of one year and a fine of 20000 rupees.


Q7.  I am being ill-treated by my father and brothers. Can I also get protection under the Domestic Violence Act?

A7.  Yes, you can. Domestic Violence Act aims to protect not only the wife, but also other female members of the household like the sister, mother and daughter. The Act seeks to cover those women who have a relationship with the abuser where both parties have lived together in a shared household and are related by consanguinity, marriage, or adoption. Women living in joint families with the abuser are also covered under the Act.


Q8.  Are there any other remedies that a woman can seek with respect to domestic violence?

A8.  Yes, a woman facing domestic violence can file a criminal complaint under Section 498A of Indian Penal Code. Husband or relative of husband who subjects a woman to cruelty are punishable with imprisonment for a term of three years and shall also be liable to fine. Also, they will not be eligible to get bail.


Q9.  What are the rights available to women against sexual assault and rape?

A9.  Sexual assault or rape of women is a crime punishable under the Indian Penal Code. The victim can approach the police who will then take the necessary action and file a chargesheet in the court. The person who committed rape is punishable with a rigorous imprisonment of upto ten years. The identity of the woman victim is to be kept secret.


Q10.  How do I approach the court?

A10.  You can avail the services of a lawyer who will represent your case in the court, or you can contact the NGO working for women rights in your area. You can also register your complaint online on the website of National Commission for Women (www.ncw.nic.in).

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