A Critical Study of the Gender Neutral Rights in India
Volume II – Issue I, 2020
“Gender neutrality” is a term that emphasizes on equal treatment of men, women and people of any other gender legally with no discrimination. India being a country with a huge population is also subjected to a huge number of crimes, as well as, mistreatment amongst each other. The Constitution being the law of the land ensures that equality is prevailed among the Indian citizens without any discriminations.
To prevail gender neutrality among the people in India, Article 14, Article 15 and Article 16 of the Constitution were given its due credit and secures its place as the fundamental rights of the citizens of the country.
It is not unknown to us that women are subjected to several crimes, may that be rape, domestic violence, or even discrimination on the basis of gender. In India, we have plenty of laws protecting women physically (for example, the rape laws under CrPC) but again, there are lack of laws in protecting the rights of women being paid equally for equal work. But gender neutrality is not really prevailed when there are enough laws to protect women physically, while, men and the transgender people has very few laws with minimal penalties when the abuse is of same stature. For instance, the rape laws under CrPC can be only referred to when the victim is a women and the abuser is a man, but there are several instances of men and transgender people being physically abused or even raped but the only Section covering these issues is Section 377 of the IPC. Under The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019, the penalties for raping or sexually abusing any transgender person is six month to two years of imprisonment along with a fine of ten thousand rupees whereas the punishments for raping a women is much more severe comparatively. It would be more appropriate to adopt a human-rights approach instead of a gender specific approach in defining the offence of recording. Thus, it is very important to have gender neutral rights to preserve the essence of equality of the Indian Constitution.