Generally, most of the women are unaware of their legal rights until they hire a legal firm or advocate for their problems.
The following various legislations include several legal rights and safeguards for women:
Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act (1986) prevents indecent representation of women through advertisements or in writings, publications, paintings, figures or in any other way.
Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (2005) is a general legislation to protect women in India from all kinds of domestic violence. It also covers women who have been or are in a relationship with the abuser and are subjected to violence of any sort—physical, mental, sexual, verbal or emotional.
Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act (1987) renders the more effective prevention of the commission of sati and its glorification on females.
Dowry Prohibition Act (1961) prohibits the taking or giving of dowry at or before or any time after the wedding from women.
Maternity Benefit Act (1961) regulates the employment of women in several establishments for certain period before and after childbirth and grants for maternity benefit and several other benefits.
Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act (1971) renders for the termination of certain pregnancies by registered medical practitioners on humanitarian as well as medical grounds.
Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act (1994) prohibits sex selection prior to or after conception and stops the misuse of prenatal diagnostic procedures for sex determination leading to female foeticide.
Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act (1956) is the premier enactment law for the prevention of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation. In other terms, it prevents trafficking in women and girls for the purpose of prostitution as an organized way of living.
Equal Remuneration Act (1976) renders for payment of equal wages to both men and women workers for same work or job of a similar nature. It also limits discrimination on the ground of sex, against women in recruitment as well as service conditions.
Family Courts Act (1984) gives for the establishment of Family Courts for speedy settlement of family disputes.
Indian Penal Code (1860) carries provisions to protect Indian women from dowry death, kidnapping, rape, cruelty and other offenses.
Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act (1939) allows a Muslim wife the right to seek the dissolution of her marriage.
Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act (1986) protects the rights of Muslim women who have been divorced by or have obtained a divorce from their husbands.
Code of Criminal Procedure (1973) has specific safeguards for women like the obligation of a person to maintain his wife, arrest of a woman by female police and so on.
Indian Christian Marriage Act (1872) contains provisions relating to marriage and divorce among the Christian community.
Legal Services Authorities Act (1987) renders free legal services to women in India.
Hindu Marriage Act (1955) introduced monogamy and granted a divorce on certain specified grounds of divorce. It provided equal rights to Indian man and woman regarding marriage and divorce in India.
Hindu Succession Act (1956) acknowledges the right of women to inherit parental property and land equally with men.
Minimum Wages Act (1948) does not allow discrimination between men and women workers or different minimum wages for them.
Mines Act (1952) and Factories Act (1948) prohibits the employment of women between 7 P.M. to 6 A.M. in mines and factories and renders for their safety and welfare.
National Commission for Women Act (1990) provided for the establishment of a National Commission for Women to study and monitor all issues relating to the constitutional and legal rights and safeguards of women.
Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prohibition, Prevention, and Redressal) Act (2013) gives protection to women from sexual harassment at all workplaces both in public and private sector, whether organized or unorganized.
The following other legislation also includes certain legal rights and safeguards for women:
- Employees’ State Insurance Act (1948)
- Plantation Labour Act (1951)
- Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act (1976)
- Legal Practitioners (Women) Act (1923)
- Special Marriage Act (1954)
- Foreign Marriage Act (1969)
- Indian Evidence Act (1872)
- Indian Succession Act (1925)
- Indian Divorce Act (1869)
- Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act (1936)
- Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act (1956)