The Status of women before and at the time of Independence was very regressive.Handful of women were educated or Independent.To uplift the position of Women in India, many reformative provisions were incorporated in the Constitution of India.These provisions are mentioned in the following Articles.
Article 14- Equality before Law.
Article 14 embodies the general principles of equality before law and equal protection of laws.
Article 15: Prohibition from discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.
- Article 15 (1)directs the state to avoid any discrimination against any citizen only on the basis of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.
- Article 15 (2) directs the state for making special provisions for women and children.
- Article 15(3) makes it possible for the state to create special provisions for protecting the interests of women and children.
- Article 15(4) capacitates the State to create special arrangements for promoting interests and welfare of socially and educationally backward classes of society.
Article16: Equality of Opportunity in matters of public employment.
1)There shall be equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the State. 2) No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence or any of them, be ineligible for, or discriminated against in respect or, any employment or office under the State.
2)No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, descent, place of birth, residence or any of them, be ineligible for, or discriminated against in respect or, any employment or office under the State.
3)Nothing in this article shall prevent Parliament from making any law prescribing, in regard to a class or classes of employment or appointment to an office under the Government of, or any local or other authority within, a State or Union territory, any requirement as to residence within that State or Union territory prior to such employment or appointment.
4)Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any provision for the reservation of appointments or posts in favor of any backward class of citizens which, in the opinion of the State, is not adequately represented in the services under the State.
5)Nothing in this article shall affect the operation of any law which provides that the incumbent of an office in connection with the affairs of any religious or denominational institution or any member of the governing body thereof shall be a person professing a particular religion or belonging to a particular denomination.
Article 23:Prohibition of traffic in human beings and forced labour:
(1) Traffic in human beings and begar and other similar forms of forced labour are prohibited and any contravention of this provision shall be an offence punishable in accordance with law.
(2) Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from imposing compulsory service for public purposes, and in imposing such service the State shall not make any discrimination on grounds only of religion, race, caste or class or any of them.
Article 39 : Principles to be followed by the State in formulating policies-
Article 39 requires the State to direct its policy towards securing for men and women equally the right to an adequate means of livelihood [Article 39(a)]:, and equal pay for equal work for both men and women [Article 39(d). The health and strength of workers, men and women, and the tender age of children are not abused and that citizens are not forced by economic necessity to enter avocations unsuited to their age or strength;[Article 39(e)]
Article 39A directs the State to promote justice, on the basis of equal opportunity and to promote free legal aid by suitable legislation or scheme or in any other way to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by reason of economic or other disabilities.
Humane Conditions at Work
Article 42 directs the State to make provision for securing justice and humane conditions of work and for maternity relief.
Fundamental Duties-Article 51A.
Article 51A (e)enjoins upon every citizen to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women.
Reservation of seats for Women in Panchayats and Municipalities
Article 243 D (3) and Article 243 T(3) provide for reservation of not less than one third of total number of seats in Panchayats and Municipalities for women to be allotted by rotation to different Constituencies.
Article 243 D(4) T(4) provides that not less than one third of the total number of officers of chairperson in the Panchayat and Municipalities at each level to be reserved for women.
Voting rights/Electoral law
- Not less than one-third seats shall be reserved for women. Such seats may be allotted by rotation to different constituencies in a Panchayat.
- The office of the chairperson in the Panchayat at the village or any other level shall be reserved for SCs, STs and women in such manner as the legislature of state may, by law provide.
- Reservation of seats for women in Municipalities is provided