Empowering Women with Legal Knowledge: Understanding Women and Law There are laws enacted exclusively for protection of women and safeguarding a women’s interests. As such these are not only globally implemented but even on state levels. They ensure that effective execution of the same is done, in order to empower women against domestic violence, harassment of any kind, and any sorts of inequal distribution of opportunity etc., Let us dive into this article to learn empowering laws that are enforced at the global level as well as domestic.
A Brief Dive into the History of Women Suffrage:
Voting Rights: “During the 19th and early 20th centuries people began to agitate for the right of women to vote. In 1893 New Zealand became the first country to give women the right to vote on a national level. This movement grew to spread all around the world, and thanks to the efforts of everyone involved in this struggle, today women’s suffrage is a right under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979).”
Nevertheless, in spite of these improvements, there are many countries across the globe where women still struggle to exercise their basic inherent rights. This includes, right to education and freedom to movement. Especially countries like, Pakistan, Syria and even Afghanistan women have been explicitly cut off from the political forum. Women are actively discouraged from pursuing any form of career. Even basic education is a million-dollar dream to young girls who live in these countries. Communities like these highly thrive on patriarchal system and women are usually looked down upon. Something docile and something to be protected. “And in Afghanistan, authorities recently decided to introduce mandatory photo screening at polling stations, making voting problematic for women in conservative areas, where most women cover their faces in public.”
Reproductive Rights: “Everyone should be able to make decisions about their own body. A woman should be entitled to equal access to health services like contraception and safe abortions, to choose if, when, and who they marry, and to decide if they want to have children and if so how many, when and with who. Women should be able to live without fear of gender-based violence, including rape and other sexual violence, female genital mutilation (FGM), forced marriage, forced pregnancy, forced abortion, or forced sterilization. But there’s a long way to go until all women can enjoy these rights. For example, many women and girls around the world are still unable to access safe and legal abortions. In several countries, people who want or need to end pregnancies are often forced to make an impossible choice: put their lives at risk or go to jail.”
In India, Dignity and decency are considered a women’s personal jewels. “Anybody who tries to snatch and disrobe her modesty is considered a sinner and law very well entails its punishment. Every woman has the right to live in dignity, free of fear, coercion, violence, and discrimination. Law very well respects women’s dignity and modesty. The criminal law provides for the punishments for offences committed against women like Sexual Harassment (Sec. 354A), assault with intent to disrobe her (Sec. 354B) or to outrage her modesty (Sec. 354), Voyeurism (Sec. 354C), Stalking (354D) etc.”
- “In case the woman herself is accused of an offence and arrested, she is behaved and dealt with decency. Her arrest and search should be made with strict regard to decency by a woman police officer and her medical examination should be carried out by a woman medical officer or in supervision of a woman medical officer. In rape cases, so far as practicable, a woman police officer should register the FIR. Furthermore, she cannot be arrested after sunset and before sunrise except for a special permission of the Magistrate by a woman police officer.”
Laws of United States of America: Overview
Violence against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013: “The main federal law against violence against women is the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (PDF, 410 KB). Domestic violence and abuse are already against the law. This law provides services and support for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
The direct services provided for individual women by this law include:
- Free rape exams
- No charge for prosecution or civil protection orders in domestic violence
- Programs to meet the needs of immigrant women and women of different races and ethnicities
- Programs and services for women with disabilities
- Legal aid for survivors of violence
- Services for children and teens
- Protections for victims who are evicted from their homes because of events related to domestic violence or stalking.”
Local Laws about violence against women: “Each community has slightly different laws about violence. But no one ever has the right to hurt you physically. In all communities, you should call 911 if you are in immediate danger. Violence is a criminal act. You must contact the local police to report violence and be protected by the law. Some communities have outdated or limited local laws about sexual assault. The legal definition of rape in your local community may be slightly different than what you expect. The U.S. Department of Justice (a federal agency) defines rape as “the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”2
- “The federal government uses this legal definition to collect information about rape from local police. Even though local laws can be slightly different from community to community, do not be afraid to report violence to the police. The police will file a report, which is the start of a legal process to get help and protection under the law.”
The family Violence Prevention and Services Act: “The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) helps victims of domestic violence and their children by providing shelters and resources. Under the FVPSA, the Administration for Children and Families, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, funds national, state, and community programs, such as state domestic violence coalitions and the Domestic Violence Resource Network. The Domestic Violence Resource Network includes national resource centers on domestic violence and the National Domestic Violence Hotline (800-799-7233).”
 Women's Rights - Amnesty International  Ibid.  Women's Rights - Amnesty International  Eight most important rights every Indian woman should know about - iPleaders  Ibid.  Laws on violence against women | Office on Women's Health (womenshealth.gov)  Ibid.  Supra 6.
Leave a Reply