This article was written by Apoorva Maheshwari, a student of DES Law College, Pune.
Gender justice entails ending the inequalities between women and men that are produced and reproduced in the family, the community, the market and the state. It also requires that mainstream institutions-from justice to economic policymaking- are accountable for tackling the justice and discrimination that keep too many women poor and excluded. But in India, it has been observed that the concept of gender justice has taken a perverted form. The legislations that are being passed by the Parliament are shifting its focus from creating equality to creating biasness in the laws. The laws are rather getting too feminist and this ultimately is resulting in the inferior position of men in the society.
This research paper seeks to highlight the extreme feminism in Indian laws and provides for some suggestions to improve the situation and achieve the real object of gender equality.
Gender justice, also known as gender equality, sex equality, gender egalitarianism, sexual equality, or equality of the genders, is the view that everyone should be treated equally and not be discriminated against based on their gender. This is one of the objectives of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which seeks to create equality in law and in social situations, such as in democratic activities and securing equal pay for equal work. The motive of gender equality is for people to acquire, if they so choose, equal treatment throughout a society, not just in politics, the workplace, or any other policy-designated sphere. To avoid complication, genders besides women and men will not be treated in this article.
Feminism is a range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve political, economic, personal, and social rights for women that are equal to those of men. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment.
When dealt with absolute care, feminism leads to women empowerment but when used in perverted form, it leads to gender inequality. Extreme feminism is never desired for it leads to inferiority of men in the society.
In reference to India, the laws are getting too feminist on daily basis. The sole sufferer in this is the second member of mankind, i.e., men. There are certain laws which are meant only for the protection of women. In this scenario, men are getting sidelined and now all of them are looked with the eyes of suspicion.
Indian Laws getting too feminist:
Law is a system of rules which a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and which it may enforce by the imposition of penalties. In India, laws provide the basic framework for the administration of the country and maintain peace and order. As a patriarchal society has been corroborated by the Indian society, position of women in our country has never been commendable. They were looked down morally and degraded legally. To improve their condition, various legislations were introduced in this country by the Britishers and the legacy is still being followed. The Hindus Widow Remarriage Act 1856, Dowry Prohibition Act 1961, Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006, etc. Were passed to advance and develop the position of women in India. Not only this, voting rights and other political rights were guaranteed to them. Art. 14 of the Indian Constitution speaks about Right to Equality: The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth
As such, every effort has been made to elevate the positional status of women in India and hence, it’s being continuously tried to achieve the goals of feminism in our nation. However, the dark side of these women oriented laws is that the men are suffering. It has been observed widely that Indian women are taking the unlawful advantage of these laws and filing false cases against men. Consequently, Indian men are losing faith in the legislations which are only protecting the women.
Following sections have been mentioned in the Indian Penal Code to penalise for the crimes against the women of India:
- Rape (Sec. 376 IPC)
- Kidnapping and Abduction for different purposes (Sec. 363-373 IPC)
- Homicide for Dowry, Dowry Deaths or their attempts (Sec. 302/304B IPC)
- Torture/Cruelty – both physical and mental – (Sec.498A IPC)
- Molestation (Sec. 354 IPC)
(354A-Sexual harassment, 354B- Act with intent to disrobe a woman, 354C- Voyeurism, 354D- Stalking)
- Sexual Harassment/Eve-Teasing (Sec. 509 or 294 IPC)
- Importation of girls up to 21 years of age (Sec. 366B IPC)
The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 is that one major law that was passed by the Indian Parliament after the Delhi Gang Rape Case of 2012. The incident generated international coverage and was condemned by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, who called on the Government of India and the Government of Delhi “to do everything in their power to take up radical reforms, ensure justice and reach out with robust public services to make women’s lives more safe and secure”.
This new law has undoubtedly given immense protection to women but at the same time put the men in an alarming situation. Rape, a reprehensible offence, only protects women. It is a crime committed only by a man against a woman. The fact that a man can also be raped is to be given a thought, which further implies that if a man or a woman forces himself/herself on a non-consenting male, then they cannot be held guilty.
Further, it has been observed that only 20-30% of rape cases are reported and 75% of filed rape cases turn out to be false after trial (NCRB stats). This implies that false number of registered rape cases is more than the genuine ones. Hence, it points out to the fact that women are taking undue advantage of laws and men are being victimized as a result, for no reason in huge number of cases.
The object of gender justice is also being neglected as men are becoming inferior in the name of feminism. It is high time to realize that men also have respect and dignity, they also can get molested or raped or harassed or tortured. The motive of penal provisions is to punish the offenders and not the gender. It is not urged to neglect women empowerment because empowerment rests in the ability of women, sexual minorities, and religious minorities to be able to walk on the streets free from the fear of sexual violence, sexual harassment and rape. But in this empowerment men are not to suffer. They should also be looked upon with the eyes of respect.
The laws which are getting feminist day by day are to be amended. Crimes against men are also to be included in them. Moreover, a system is to be evolved by which the differentiation between false and genuine cases can be made so that criminals can be given chastisement and innocents can be protected.
Indian society is patriarchal but it is changing now. Women have been granted the same status as men but laws are over protecting women. For instance, it has been observed in a survey that most of the dowry, domestic violence and rape cases are filed to seek revenge for any insult, etc. or to seek money.
Gender justice aims to place everyone at par and feminism aims to empower women. Neither of them intends to neglect or victimize men. Hence, the extreme feministic nature of Indian laws is to be changed so that the real rationale behind gender justice can be achieved successfully.
 Stenhammer, Anne F. (20 December 2012). “UN Women condemn gang rape of Delhi student” (Press release). UN Women. Retrieved 21 December 2012