Posts Tagged ‘legal view’

Women Are People Too

In The Bad on May 13, 2008 at 12:57 am

The Womens Reservation Bill may be in the news again but Indian lawmakers and the society they represent still don’t understand that women are people too.  Consider the following taken from the Indian Penal Code:

Section 497:
Adultery.—Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery, and shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both. In such case the wife shall not be punishable as an abettor.”

The wife is thus viewed as:

  • the property of the husband
  • incapable of taking a decision by herself.

Women need to be viewed as individual people and as equal before the law as men, not as the property of men.  The Womens Reservation Bill will surely do well for a handful of women but removing such archaic laws and treating women as equals will do well for all of them.

There is however, no hope of the Indian State viewing it’s citizens as responsible adults so long as this story represents the thinking of Indian society.