Since the early days, women have fought hard for their right to be treated equally in all aspects of life. Through landmark Supreme Court rulings, women have gained important rights such as the right to vote and equality before the law.
Despite these successes, there is still a long way to go before all women in India can aspire to reach their full potential. This is where the courts come in: each year they hand down important rulings that help expand women’s rights.
Here are five landmark decisions that protect women’s rights in India.
1. Marital rape
In India, the topic of marital rape has been considered taboo for a long time. In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court ruled that marital rape constituted a form of rape under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act.
The ruling was issued in a ruling in which the Supreme Court interpreted the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act and regulations to end discrimination against married and unmarried women by allowing abortions up to 24 weeks of pregnancy.
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2. Right to abortion
The Supreme Court has ruled that all women, regardless of their marital status, are entitled to the benefits of a safe and legal abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, in another landmark verdict.
A three-judge panel headed by Justices DY Chandrachud, AS Bopanna and JB Pardiwala on September 29 declared that discrimination against women based on their marital status goes against their right to equality.
3. The mother decides the child’s last name
The Supreme Court ruled in July 2022 that a woman, who acts as the sole natural guardian of the child, has the right to choose the child’s surname and cannot be prevented from incorporating the child into her new family and choosing the surname even after the death of his first spouse.
Additionally, you are also allowed to give the child up for adoption. “The mother, as the sole natural guardian of the child, has the right to decide the surname of the child,” a bench comprising Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Krishna Murari said.
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4. Ban on the two-finger test
India’s Supreme Court again raised objections to the use of the “two-finger test” in rape and sexual assault cases in October 2022. The doctors who conducted the test will be found guilty of misconduct, the court added. warned.
In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that the two-finger test, also known as “virginity test” either “through vagina” proof, it was unconstitutional. The exam “violates rape survivors’ right to privacy, physical and mental integrity, and dignity.”
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5. Demanding money for the construction of a house is dowry
In its ruling in the case of State of Madhya Pradesh Vs. Jogendra & Anr., the Supreme Court decided to broaden the definition of ‘dowry’. The Supreme Court declared that any demand made of a woman, whether for property or a thing of value, must be considered a “dowry.”
The Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961 defines “dowry” as “any valuable property or value” exchanged between the parties to a marriage.
Women have long been repressed in India and almost every other nation in the world. The situation remains dire despite numerous women’s empowerment movements. Women are still denied many rights, have limited access to education and economic resources, and suffer from deep-rooted discrimination and prejudice. It is hoped that the landmark rulings of the Supreme Court on a number of crucial issues will help elevate and improve the status of women in India.
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