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Women all across the world have demonstrated that they are vibrant, talented, truthful, and diligent in a variety of disciplines. Their ongoing efforts and contributions to the country’s progress have demonstrated that women are not inferior. Women who are educated and contemporary have let go of their inhibitions and concerns. Females have demonstrated to the world that they can be successful as mothers as well as professionals, academics, bureaucrats, and politicians. However, in previous ages, women could not be so tough and furious. In reality, they were exposed to numerous difficulties and were denied their human rights. Although numerous places in the world still reflect no changes, there has been some progress in the condition of women, and governments and other organisations are also realising the need of preserving women’s human rights.

While India struggled to break free from the constraints of the British Raj, women stepped forward to share the burden. Rani Laxmibai represents the zenith of female strength and courage. Several freedom fighters, including Sarojini Naidu, Sucheta Kriplani, and Vijay Laxmi Pandit, were pivotal in the Indian independence struggle. The woman’s astonishing display of bravery and persistence hinted at her hidden abilities. Mary Kom, Sania Mirza, Saina Nehwal, and Sumitra Mahajan have all made significant contributions to their sports. Modern Indian women have honed their talents and launched a life-long battle against societal restraints, emotional attachments, religious obstacles, and conventional clutches.

Despite these accomplishments, many obstacles remain: harsh laws and societal norms persist, women continue to be underreported at all levels of political leadership, and one in every five women and girls aged 15 to 49 report sexual and physical assault by an intimate partner within a year.


Women’s feminist groups have worked tirelessly for many years to address these societal injustices, organising support for legislative reform or protesting in the streets to demand that their rights be honoured. New movements have blossomed in the internet era, including the #MeToo campaign, which also emphasises the prevalence of sexual identity abuse and assault. Here are a handful of the many women’s rights abuses that she faces daily:

1. Inequality of Gender

2. Violence against women

3. Sexual Harassment and Violence

4. Discrimination at work

5. Over 500,000 women die each year as a consequence of pregnancy and maternity care-related causes.

6. HIV infection rates among women are increasing at an alarming rate. Because of their financial and social vulnerabilities, young women now make up the bulk of newly infected people aged 15 to 24.

7. Sexual identity abuse kills and disables as many women between the ages of 15 and 44 as cancer. Perpetrators are often unpunished.

8. Globally, women are twice as likely as males to be illiterate.

9. As a result of their working circumstances and characteristics, a disproportionately significant percentage of women are destitute in both developing and affluent countries.


UN Women is a United Nations organisation committed to gender equality and women’s empowerment. UN Women was established to accelerate progress in meeting the needs of women and girls worldwide. It works internationally to make the Sustainable Development Goals vision a reality for women and girls, and it advocates for women’s equitable involvement in all aspects of life via four key goals.:

• Women lead, participate in and benefit from governance systems on an equal footing.

• Women and girls participate in, and have a greater impact on, creating long-term peace and resilience, and they benefit equally from natural disaster and conflict prevention, as well as humanitarian assistance.

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (1979) is a landmark international treaty that tackles gender discrimination and offers particular protections for women’s rights. The agreement established a global charter of women’s and girls’ rights, as well as governments’ responsibilities to guarantee that women may enjoy those rights.

UN Women has devised a rapid and focused response centred on five priorities to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 disaster on women and girls while also ensuring long-term recovery benefits them:

1. Gender-based violence, particularly domestic abuse, is minimised and decreased.

2. Social security and economic stimulation programmes assist women and girls.

3. People believe in and practise equal sharing of caring responsibilities.

4. COVID-19 contingency planning and decision-making are led by women and girls.

5. Gender perspectives are incorporated into data and coordination approaches.

In 1946, the United Nations Economic and Social Council formed the Commission on the Status of Women to produce recommendations and reports to the Council on strengthening women’s rights in politics, economics, social order, and education.


In the post-independence era, political authorities recognised the importance of women’s liberation in the country’s growth. They recognised that a country’s prosperity cannot occur until women are given equal rights. Unfortunately, the target has yet to be met. Men continue to fail to give women the credit they deserve. It is past time for society to change its perspective on women. Professionally, they must be regarded as equals with their male counterparts.

Because coordinated and integrated measures are essential to ensure the survival, safety, and empowerment of girls, the government has launched the “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” programme. Sukanya Samridhi Yojana, a modest deposit plan for the female child, was also introduced as part of the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign, to prevent gender-biased sex selection elimination and assure the survival and protection of a girl child. Other initiatives include Mahila-E-Haat (a women’s online marketing platform), Mahila Shakti Kendra (a rural women’s empowerment organisation that provides skill development, digital literacy, employment, and health care), and UJJWALA (a women’s empowerment initiative) (scheme for prevention of trafficking and rescue, rehabilitation of women).

The Indian government has currently created and implemented a total of legislation empowering women and girls. These are:

  • The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act,2006
  • Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2013
  • National Commission for Women Act, 1990
  • Indecent Representation of Women ( Prevention) Act, 1986
  • Equal Remuneration Act,1976
  • Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971
  •  Indian Divorce Act, 1969
  • Dowry Prohibition Act,1961
  • Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act ,1971
  • Special Marriage Act, 1954


  • Article 14 guarantees the right to equality.
  • Right against Discrimination- No citizen should be subject to any handicap, liability, limitation, or condition, based solely on religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth, or any combination of these factors
  • Consider stores, public restrictions, hotels, and public entertainment venues. The usage of wells, tanks, bathing Ghats, highways, and public resorts is funded entirely or partially by state money or is devoted to the general public. However, under Article 3(3), the state may make special provisions for women as an exemption to the non-discrimination requirements.
  • Equal Opportunity in Public Employment- Women have equal opportunities in government employment because there is fairness and equality for all common people, whether males or females, in respect of employment, occupation, or appointment to any office under the state, and no citizen can be unqualified for or discriminated against in respect of any employment or office under the state solely based on religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence, or national origin.
  • Right to Freedom of Expression- Women have the right under Article 19 (1) (a) of the Indian Constitution to speak out on any issue that affects them.
  • Right to work- Recognizing such a right in its structure, the Indian Constitution, in article 19 (1) (g), grants the right to work to Indian women by giving freedom of employment, profession, and business to all citizens.
  • Right to Life and Personal Liberty- Article 21 of the Indian Constitution guarantees all women and men the right to live freely.
  • Right against Exploitation- Article 23 of the Indian Constitution safeguards against human trafficking and bonded labour, acting as a safeguard for women’s protection and ensuring their right to work.
  • Right to Livelihood- Article 39 (a) states that all citizens, men and women alike, have the right to an adequate means of subsistence. Article 23(3) of the UDHR recognises the same right, stating that everyone who works has the right to reasonable and favourable payment.
  • Equal Pay for Equal Labor- Article 39 (d) of the Indian Constitution states that the state should, in particular, direct its policies toward ensuring equal pay for equal work for both men and women.
  • Just and Human Working Conditions and Maternity Relief- Article 42 of the Constitution states that the state must provide for just and humane working conditions as well as maternity leave.
  • Right of Constitutional Remedies- If any of these fundamental rights are violated, the aggrieved woman can approach the Supreme Court and High Court and file a writ petition under Article 32 and Article 226 to seek redress; however, there is no such mechanism available in the case of Directive Principles of State Policy, which are not enforceable by any court with writ jurisdiction.


Despite these accomplishments and improvements, there are still considerable issues with implementing these standards. These are graphically shown in the Secretary General’s assessment of conflict-related sexual assault in 2012. Gender-based violence prevails in many settings, and women have restricted access to justice, decision-making, and resources. Previous Secretary-General reports also emphasized the remaining barriers to women’s participation in peace processes and presented extensive ideas and policy measures for United Nations agencies to overcome these barriers more effectively in partnership with other stakeholders.

These unresolved challenges highlight the value of a holistic approach. Because human rights are linked and interdependent, women and girls’ rights in war and post-conflict settings must be prioritised, including civil and political rights as well as social, economic, and cultural rights. The same holds for peace and reconciliation reforms: safeguarding the human rights of all women and girls is important for comprehensive post-conflict development.

For example, achieving socioeconomic rights is crucial for decreasing gender-based violence and allowing women to take more active roles in reconciliation. Absolute poverty and unequal access to land, property, education, and services have been mentioned as reasons for women’s low participation in peace processes and politics, and structural differences, notably socioeconomic inequality, are regularly recognised as underlying causes of gender-based violence. As a result, treaties such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights play an important role in ensuring women’s rights during and after the war.


  1. Sustainable Development Goals, https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/gender-equality/
  2. Women’s Rights- Amnesty International, https://www.amnesty.org/en/what-we-do/discrimination/womens-rights/
  3. United Nation Population Fund; study on the Human rights of Women, https://www.unfpa.org/resources/human-rights-women
  4. UN Women, https://www.unwomen.org/en/about-us/about-un-women   

The article is written by Ajita Dixit, who has graduated from ILS, Dehradun and is presently pursuing Master’s in Law.

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