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Why Women Need to raise their Voice more Against Marital Torture

Violence against women has been happening from centuries for now and the oppositions to that violence has also been happening from around the same time. Suppression of women in society is not a new phenomenon, however, so is not the phenomenon of women’s rights activism.

Fight such instances of marital torture with the help of best lawyers in Indore.

Feminism has itself been a massive movement, having many phases throughout the years. The very first wave of feminism advocated that torture against women must stop. The second wave vouched for liberty and it was only in the third wave that concerns regarding gender equality came to be voiced. Even though it is true that it must not be only women, who voice their concerns, and that people from all strata of the society need to stand up against torture being inflicted on women, however, it is also true that the effect of movement seems to be more widespread and grave, when the opposition comes directly from the aggrieved victims. Marital torture is no different. This blog seeks to emphasize the importance of women raising their voices, either individually or collectively, against oppression and all forms of violence. If a woman is in situations like these rather than just tolerating the adversities they should definitely consult some divorce lawyer. If you live in a city like Indore you should consult some good divorce lawyer in Indore. As per the reports of the National Crime Records Bureau, since 1997, more than 20,000 housewives have been committing suicide every year. [i]

Torture that is inflicted on women can be of various types. Some of the most pre-dominant forms of torture faced by Indian women, for which there are legal provisions are:

  1. Section 354 Indian Penal Code, 1860- This section invites penal charges on anyone who attempts to outrage the modesty of a woman. The scope of the section is very broad and seems to include every physical act which has the effect of offending the woman.
  2. Section 376 Indian Penal Code, 1860- This is the provision on rape. Post the 2013 amendment to the penal code, the scope of the section has been broadened to a wide extent and penetration by the man is no longer a necessity and even attempt to rape will be included.
  3. Section 489-A read with Section 304B- Section 498-A criminalizes the harassment of women on account of demand for dowry. The action can be filed against the husband or one of the relatives, if they are involved in actions for seeking dowry from the wife.

Under Section 304B, if a woman dies within seven years of marriage for unnatural reasons, the court presumes it to be a dowry death under the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.

  1. Domestic Violence Act, 1995- The act has many provisions for protection against domestic violence at the hands of her husband or in-laws. Accusation under it invites penal consequences. Recently, the Act was amended in 2018 to a great extent.
  2. Sexual Harassment at Workplace (Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013- This legislation was enacted after a long-drawn fight for it, post the Vishakha judgment by the Rajasthan High Court.

However, despite the existence of the above laws, the legal framework of India is not competent enough to cover all the different kinds of torture that is continually inflicted on women.

Married women in India have been facing various subtle forms of torture for years now. There are numerous husbands who do not allow their wives to be employed even though they are qualified and are willing and able to be employed. A lot of educated women are made to forcefully become home-makers, thus, depriving them of their passion and the many opportunities that awaited them in the outside world.

Many a time, the wife is not included in the ownership of financial assets. Even in urban households, the representation of the wife in the financial assets owned by the husband is very less. The only form of representation, if any, given to them, is that in joint accounts and joint ownership of property.

Other subtle forms of torture include constant rebukes, taunts, comments and remarks upon her dignity and capabilities, thus, intending to demean her self-worth. The gravity of double standards is highlighted when the matrimonial relatives of the woman do not permit her to work despite her qualifications and then pass comments on either her self-worth, or those aimed at her family members.

Of late, there is also an ongoing debate on the need for laws that criminalize marital rape, a provisions currently non-existent in Indian laws.

Since the current laws of India are inadequate to cover these subtler forms of marital torture, it becomes all the more important that women raise their voice against the various forms of marital torture.

[i] https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/nov/25/scared-tortured-indian-women-lift-lid-married-life.

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