The current Chief Justice of India (CJI) D.Y. Chandrachud while addressing the
audience in an event held on International Women’s Day (8th March 2023),
revealed his idea to issue a glossary consisting of all inappropriate words targeting
women. He referred to a few cases during his speech, in which women were termed
as “concubine” in the court of law only because she was in a live-in relationship with a
man. India is a country which recognises live-in relationships, the law gives
validation equivalent to marriage to a live-in relationship which continued for more
than 7 years. Keeping this in mind in the present scenario, if a judge or even a
lawyer refers to a woman with words like concubine or mistress it will sound
Hippocratic. As referred by CJI D.Y. Chandrachud earlier courts used to point out a
victim woman as a concubine because she was in a relationship with a man without
marriage. In the case of Pratap Mishra Vs. State of Orissa, the Supreme Court
Judge shouted out the appellant as a concubine and also delivered his judgement
based on the personal life of the appellant. Whereas no questions were raised towards the man who was involved in multiple relationships. Now the question arises, is it fair to give such a dishonouring title to a woman when on the other side the male
partner who is equally involved in the relationship gets no such treatment?
Sex Ratio of India:-
By a recent survey conducted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, we can
observe the increasing number of females as compared to males. The Ratio gives
the number of females per 1000 males, there are 1020 females per 1000 males. This is the result of the 5th National Family Health Survey (2019-21), which clearly states the majority of women in the country. This result was achieved after much awareness
and the introduction of schemes by the Union as well as the state government.
Schemes like- Sukanya Samriddhi Yojna, Nanda Devi Kanya Yojna, Beti Bachao
and Beti Padhao were proactively promoted, after this amount of hard work the
country was able to cover the difference of gender gap. With an increasing number of
women, females constitute more than half of the population of the country. Continuing stereotypical or patriarchal thinking and judging on that basis will not work now.
Literacy Rate of Women:-
The current literacy rate of women in India is 77% which is 68% more from the time
of Independence. Gone are the days when women were dependent on men for
every little thing, now the female section of society stand head-to-head with male.
Earlier women were treated as property of men and so, their act of not obeying their
master was considered as a blasphemous act. The thinking of ancient people said a
woman who is dependent on her husband for every small thing should treat him as a
god. But the situation is not similar anymore, women are becoming more and more
self-dependent. The rate of women in the work sector or entrepreneurship is increasing day by day. In some houses, women are breadwinners, whereas their partner takes care of the house and children.
Change in Society Thinking:-
There are ample numbers of laws and even acts made for women, but due to the
patriarchal thinking of people in society, it is hard to see the implementation of it.
Women suffer a similar situation as people from a lower caste. To say India has
Article 14 Right to Equality, Article 15 Equality in educational sector, Article 16
Equality in the Job sector, Article 17 Abolition of Untouchability and whatnot. These are all Fundamental Rights; one can directly file a case in the Supreme Court if he/she is deprived of them. All this is due to Juris only, even now most people avoid lower
caste people and this is the ground reality of society. Similarly, there are multiple laws to prevent the act of dowry giving and taking, there are laws which prohibit domestic violence but in reality, did the laws stop the groom's side of the family from taking dowry? Have the cases of domestic violence stopped if not are they even decreasing? Everyone knows no is the answer. Instead, now people are talking about Men’s Rights and their protection from domestic violence. It is not wrong to talk about Men’s Rights but Women’s Rights should be prioritized. Now and then we hear a new scheme for reserved Caste people, they have more benefits because they once were exploited. But so were women of every society, caste and race they too should be given more respect and protection as compared to the male members of society.
The laws have criminalized the act of cruelty against women but our society is not
ready to accept them, people even living in the 21st century continue to keep their minds back to the 19th Century. Hence it is a great and Remarkable first step taken by our current CJI which will imprint the respect and dignity of women in a court of law.
It can be concluded that there is a dire need to change the thinking of people, and
the small step taken by the CJI D.Y. Chandrachud will make a great difference in future. There are several laws in our country to protect and safeguard the situation of women in society but what use is it of when the society is not accepting them? It is very important to make people understand the change in the situation of women in the 21st as compared to that of the 19th Century. Now women are self-dependent and doing even better than males in our society. The court had given a judgement decriminalizing section 497 i.e., Adultery then why only women are subject to such verbal punishment? Indian Constitution talks about equality, if the same crime is committed by a woman and a man then why only women are looked down on in society whereas a man remains respectful?