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Basic Women Rights

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We sure have a long journey ahead, before us fellow female fellas, can actually ‘feel’ the independence.Independence from our controlling spouse, independence from those gender roles and independence from the society and its cruel motives.

While the journey seems far, it doesn’t seem impossible. On the eve of 70th Independence day, lets recall some of the basic women rights we all should be aware of.

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1.Right To Abort

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Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act or the MTP Act, 1971 says pregnancy not exceeding 12 weeks may be terminated based on the opinion of a single doctor. If the period of pregnancy exceeds 20 weeks, then the opinion of two doctors has to be taken before initiating an abortion.

2.Women Officers for Women Offenders

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Between 6 pm and 6 am i.e after and before sunset, women can only be stopped, detained, or questioned by women officers. If female officers are not present, women cannot be questioned or taken away.

3.Right to free legal aid

All female rape victims have the right to free legal aid, under the Legal Services Authorities Act. It is mandatory for the Station House Officer (SHO) to inform the Legal ServicesAuthority, who arranges for the lawyer.

4.Right to anonymity

Victims of sexual assault have a right to anonymity. To ensure that her privacy is protected, a woman who has been sexually assaulted may record her statement alone before the district magistrate when the case is under trial, or in the presence of a female police officer.

5.Right to dignity and decency

In the event that an accused is a woman, any medical examination procedure on her should be made only by or under the supervision of female registered medical practitioner.

6.Police can’t say No

Sometimes, the police station under which the incident occurs refuses to register the victim’s complaint in order to keep clear of responsibility and tries sending the victim to another police station. In such cases, she has the right to lodge an FIR at any police station under the provision of Zero FIR.

7.Right to virtual complaints

If, for some reason, a woman can’t go to the police station, she can send a written complaint through an email or registered post addressed to a senior police officer of the level of Deputy Commissioner or Commissioner of Police. The officer then directs the SHO of the police station, of the area where the incident occurred, to conduct proper verification of the complainant and lodge a FIR.

8.Right towards crime and not a medical condition

A case of rape can’t be dismissed even if the doctor says that rape has not taken place. ¬†Rape is crime and not a medical condition. It is a legal term and not a diagnosis to be made by the medical officer treating the victim. The only statement that can be made by the medical officer is that there is evidence of recent sexual activity. Whether the rape has occurred or not is a legal conclusion and the doctor can’t decide on this.

9.Equal Pay For Equal Work

The Equal Renumeration Act states that it is the duty of the employer to pay equal renumeration to men and women workers for the same work or work of similar nature. It also says that no discrimination is to be made when recruiting men and women workers.

10.Right to not being called to the police station

This law provides Indian women the right of not being physically present at the police station for interrogation.The police can interrogate a woman at her residence in the presence of a woman constable and family members or friends.

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