Even after 70 years of Independence, women are fighting for their ‘right to live
in dignity’. Media reports show that in 2016-17, the National
Commission for Women (NCW) received maximum complaints under this category, ahead of rape or molestation.
NCW received 4,373 registered complaints under the ‘right to live
in dignity’ category, followed by dowry
harassment (1,752), disrespecting the modesty of a woman (946) and violence against women (943), reported IndiaTimes
Article 21 of the Constitution of India reads: “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to a procedure established by law.”
What is NCW?
The NCW is a statutory body appointed to safeguard women's rights.
The 'Mandate of the Commission', as per Section 10 of the National
Commission for Women Act, 1990, is to examine "deprivation of women's rights", "non-implementation of laws" and "non-compliance of policy decisions, guidelines" framed to provide protection to women.
We have often heard of police
personals asking personal and insensitive questions to women when they approach them with complaints. Voicing serious concerns over this issue, the department has registered 3,963 complaints of police
apathy than of molestation
Right to choice in marriage
With forceful arranged marriages predominating consensual marriages, NCW received 337 complaints on women wanting the right to choose their own spouses.
In the Maneka Gandhi
VS Union of India case, where she challenged the impounding of her passport, the Supreme Court gave a new light to Article 21 (III), saying that the right to live
is not merely a physical right but encompasses the right to live
with dignity as well.
was issued a passport on 1976 and within a week, the same was impounded. Moreover, the only reason cited to her was by Indian passport officials were that in due of ‘public interest’, such actions have been taken. Therefore, filed a writ petition with the Supreme Court and won the case.
"The NCW is founded upon the recognition that in a patriarchal society, women face a far greater degree of vulnerability and, hence, any effort to reform any law cannot go against this well-evidenced fact and reality and now argue that men are equally if not more vulnerable than women," All India Progressive Women's Association secretary Kavita Krishnan said, reported PTI.