Gender discriminatory laws in India which still exists

While you are rejoiced to know about Calcutta High Courts verdict about the eligibility of a married daughter to her parent’s job on the compassionate ground, remember that every other day women in India face such discriminatory policies which put them a step behind their male counterparts. Here’s a list of such laws\policies which you might not be aware of:

Goa Law on polygamy

Did you know that Hindu men can legally practise bigamy in the state of Goa? Surprised? Bewildered? Here’s the catch! If you are a Hindu man and your first wife is unable to deliver you a child on time (read, before she is 25) or if she is unable to give you a son before she turns 30, voila! you are eligible for a second marriage.

Marriageable age 

Yes it’s still 18 for a girl and 21 for a guy. No one knows why this 3 years gap is required. Moreover, if your wife is above 15 years of age, you are also legally allowed to rape!

Marital Rape

Which brings up to a very important question of marital rape. A recent article about rape convicts interview at Tihar jail portrays a sad and alarming state of affairs. Apparently many Indian men are still unaware of the idea of consent. Add to it the fact that marital rape is not considered as an offence in India. In case you think separation solves the issue, you cannot be more wrong. While it is a punishable offense, the prison sentence is much lesser as compared to the usual rape sentences.

Law of inheritance

While married daughters can inherit their father’s property (after the amendment of Hindu Succession Act in 2005), the property that belongs to a woman is still treated differently. While a man’s property is inherited by his immediate family members, a woman’s property belongs to her in-laws after her death (if she does not have a spouse or children alive).

No right to marital property

Yes you read it right. Women, you are not eligible for any shares of your husband’s property or assets if you are separated or divorced. Even if that property was bought with your money under your husband’s name. What you are eligible for is just a maintenance allowance from your husband, if need be.

Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act

It still says that father is the primary guardian while mother is the secondary guardian once they cross the age of five. Only for illegitimate children, it will be reversed. And most ridiculously, husband is the guardian of the minor wife. If child marriage is prohibited, we are not sure how wife can be a minor. but the catch is even though child marriage is prohibited, such marriages do happen and once they happen they are not termed as illegal. 

Disappointed? So are we. Write to us about other gender discriminatory rules that you know of which are still practiced in India.

About Anandita Dasgupta

Anandita is a techie, an adventurer and a closet romantic. She eats to survive and backpacks around the world for nourishment. Her practical worldview is reflected in her crisp and relatable writing style. She writes on a wide range of topics, but her core areas of interest are travel, career and culture!

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Anandita Dasgupta

Anandita is a techie, an adventurer and a closet romantic. She eats to survive and backpacks around the world for nourishment. Her practical worldview is reflected in her crisp and relatable writing style. She writes on a wide range of topics, but her core areas of interest are travel, career and culture!

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