Equal Remuneration Act, 1976

This Act prevents discrimination in terms of remuneration. It provides for payment of equal recompense to men and women workers.

It is necessary to know these and other laws in place to protect the interests of women. Only if you are aware of your rights can you fight against any injustice meted out to you at home, at the workplace, or in the society.

All the above measures and interventions are supportive in nature, i.e. they act as supportive infrastructure to ensure and protect women from being victimized.

But let us also look to the other face of the coin. Since only ensuring a strict legal system may also prove to be sometime oppressive as the agencies enforcing the acts in strict sense may violate tenets of human rights which is also not acceptable. Hence a balance is required to be kept with while implementation also.

So far we have dealt with the requirement of stringer laws, legal and administrative system to deal with such sexual overdrive. But it requires further delving into the matter.

We all know that India has been a land following various social customs, traditions and certain sets of religious beliefs. These customs has a deep rooted place in the core of our minds and hearts of every people of India which has defined our lifestyle, our thoughts, our expressions and our beliefs be it man or a woman. This has given to the males, the feeling of masculinity in every aspect of their acts and thoughts.

Indian males have thus perceived themselves as physically, mentally superior than their counterparts. Indian women also have accepted to treat their males as superior. This can be seen as women still perform the rituals of KarwaChauthh where they signify men as god.

Other instance can be seen in parents preferring male child over female. In every aspect of the life, women are denied or given less preference over male whether it is for giving education or access to health care. They are always required to be within their limitations and the male counterparts have freedom in this regard. This system thus gives a feeling in male that they are superior and hence dominate over women. This instils in male a sense of hatred against women if they see a woman crossing their limitations.

So the problem is just not the case of one or two factors, but a sum total of a large number of factors. For this we need to plan more integrative approach to arrive at a solution.

This requires a large scale and an integrated social reform whereby we need to channelize the potential of woman into the stream of development. This can be brought through measures such as real education emphasizing on the quality of education, through enhanced moral and spiritual teachings so that the seed of enmity which is sown through these customs and traditions gets deeply uprooted.

Moral and spiritual inclination of education will impart impetus to curb the sexual desires of men and women and would not let them indulge in committing such heinous crimes. This solution is an ideal solution which would need a more comprehensive support of all the stakeholders of societies.

Henceforth, to see India as a more flourished nation as envisaged in our Constitution, it is time we need to realize what is right and what is wrong and act in an integrated manner so that women can be channelized into mainstream of development and thus contribute to socio-economic prosperity of the nation.

In other words, we need to take action not by force but by will to make our country more secure and safe for our better halves and bring up reforms in the desired direction so that woman can also enjoy their freedom and rights, and feel more empowered and fearless, as entrusted by the Supreme law of the land.

Prof.of Law — Dr. Ishita Chatterjee.

 

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