Understanding The After-Marriage Rights For Women – Don’t Let Anyone Take You For Granted
Things are changing quite progressively in India these days. Many families now want a daughter, because they feel that daughters are more patient, courageous, strong, hardworking, and also good at multitasking.
Women are now given the same kind of importance and positions like men. Equality among genders is what we as a notion are focusing on, and women empowerment is what we talk about. However, is it really the same for women after they get married in India?
Compromise and adjustments are the two terminologies on which a woman spends her entire life in a marriage. When they are brought up by their parents, they are taught to become a fighter, stand out in the crowd, and to live independently.
Then why does the definition change the moment she gets married?
There are so many rules and laws that are made to give women the same kind of liberty and equality that men get in public. However, due to social pressures, Indian women tend to forget their progressive upbringing, and end up making sacrifices their entire life.
It is a cycle where a woman is bound to spend her entire life. Earlier, it was with her parents where she got all her comforts, but post marriage, her life gets turned upside down. Even if she is given the same comfort that she got at her parent’s house, she is still expected to compromise on petty things, in order to satisfy the egos at her in-laws place.
So basically, marriage isn’t the union between two species, but it is social binding that is imposed on someone, till that person dies of frustration.
It might sound revolting and aggressive, but the sad truth of our country is that many women are simply being exploited after the marriage. Just because you’ve been told that you are lucky to be chosen for the marriage, doesn’t really make you indebted for life.
After getting married, many women in India feel the absence of emotional security, or live in a threat of being abandoned anytime. You might come across many people who talk about women empowerment, but they are not fully aware of the actual rights of a women in India.
Well, not all problems can be sorted out with compromises and adjustments. There are few things that are called human rights, which every woman must make herself aware of.
It is quite strange that the legal of age of a boy for getting married should be 21, and a girl’s age should be 18. This shows our biased mentality that we still believe that women should be younger than men for getting married.
There was a time, when parents used to show total bias on property distribution for sons and daughters. However, thanks to interventions from the governments, new laws have been introduced, and certain amendments have been made in the legal system itself.
There are few basic rights that all married ladies should know. These rights are mentioned in Article 15 section 3 of Indian Constitution
- Domestic violence Act
- Matrimonial Home
- Parental Home
Basically Streedhan means all the assets, both tangible and non tangible assets, which that a woman receives before, during, and after marriage, or even during childbirth, will solely belong to her.
If she wishes to get separated from her husband, due to any reasons, she can ask it back from him. By any chance, if the husband or the in-laws deny this request, then the case of domestic violence can be filed against them.
Also, when mother in law dies without leaving any will. then all Streedhan goes directly to the daughter-in-law, and not to son or anyone else in the family.
Here are few things that a married woman can use during such situations
- Maintain a list of all the assets that you received in your marriage. To prove it, you can show the wedding pictures.
- Keep witnesses during marriage, while you are receiving gold and other assets.
- Ensure that entire items are under your name.
Domestic violence Act
Half of our Indian society women are victims of domestic violence. Our society is divided into three parts, lower-class, middle-class, and upper class.
- Domestic violence in lower-class is very normal, and it happens on a daily basis due to financial trouble, drinking alcohol and any other addiction.
- When women of upper-class face such problem, they openly announce for separation with large amount of alimony.
- It is the middle-class women that get sandwiched in domestic violence, as women are always told to protect family’s reputation.
In such case, even if the woman does not want to get separated from her husband due to social pressures, then she can ask her husband to follow bond of keeping peace, or bond of nice behaviour.
This can be done with the help of an Executive Magistrate. As per the rule, husband will be asked to submit all assets and properties including money, which will be used as penalty if he still physically abuses his wife.
Here are few instances that fall under physical, sexual, mental violence
- Continuous rejection of food.
- Compelling wife to conduct vicious sex acts
- Physical violence
- Repeatedly throwing out the women of the house.
- Torturing her psychologically by keeping her children away from her.
- Always passing comments, putting her down, and demoralizing or torturing her mentally in public.
- Not allowing her to meet people, and get into social talks with others.
- Fighting and abusing her in front of her children to mentally torture her.
- Threatening to harm physically or divorce, if dowry isn’t provided.
In a marriage, it is the husband’s responsibility to provide protection to his wife. No matter what the circumstances may be, as per the Hindu Adoption & Maintenance Act of 1956, wife has complete rights to reside in her matrimonial house.
It doesn’t matter, whether she owns it or not. Even if the fight is very serious, it is the husband who has to leave the house, and family. Also, he will have to look after their maintenance costs, until honourable court doesn’t come to down with a conclusion. If the coupe have a daughter from their marriage, then the husband will have to look after her maintenance too, until she gets married.
Hindu wife can also claim for alimony or maintenance, if husband is found guilty under such circumstances-
- Sexual intercourse with any other person, apart from wife.
- venereal disease
If husband remarries before divorce case is brought to a conclusion, then he will have pay up severe penalty. Under the Section of 49 of IPC, he can even face imprisonment of seven years as penalty. A wife has the complete rights to live with dignity and pride in her in-law’s house, similar to how she did when her husband lived there.
Hindus have an absurd reasoning for what we call “Kanyadaan”. Although Hindu mythology depicts a completely different meaning to it, things in our society are quite different.
During the marriage ceremony, a father hands over her daughter to an unknown man forever, whom she has known only for few months, or may be few years. Some people believed that their daughter is burden, who is meant to be handed over to another man.
With time, we have made amendment according to our own conveniences. Now it has been declared that she will be no longer be a part of house and property, after her marriage. It works okay for those women who don’t want any share in assets, but can be a disaster for those women who are in need.
Our judicial system is much smarter. Now the Supreme Court has ruled that the married daughters are also entitled to father’s property, after his death. If father wants, he can legally nominate his daughter for the entitled property and assets.
Therefore, married daughters will also get what is entitled for them in the will. However, if father dies before making any will, then daughters and sons have equal rights to all properties and assets. This will also include mother’s assets like gold.
Divorce isn’t an easy task if it isn’t done with mutual consent. Often huge number of cases are found pending in courts, which have been held for trial since many years.
In the past, there always were discussions of separation of belongings after divorce, among couples. However, such court settlements involve a lengthy process, and used to take years before coming to a conclusion. Due to loads of files waiting in the court, there was an amendment made in the Marriage Law Bill of 2010.
According to the new rules, wife will obtain half of all of her husband’s housing properties. However, the said will have to specify her share of assets and property. Wife will also get her share in other properties, which aren’t under her husband’s name, but the percentage of sharing will be decided after seeing the standard of living of the wife.
Nobody wants to undergo a hardship in life, whether it is financial or mental. When you get married, two families are united, and two souls are bonded to each other. It is understood that two opposite sex cannot be exactly similar, and there can be ups and downs in life.
Now that doesn’t mean you have to do adjustments and compromises all the time. It is rather suggested to come to an understanding that can help both spouses in leading a dignified and decent life.
Women will have to go through a lot of mental trauma during the divorce. Researches also suggest that many women are suffering from depression due to few problems in their family life. It can be taken care of, if the husbands understand their feelings.
Unfortunately, such understandings do not happen every time. If things are really not working well between the couple, then divorce would be the ideal solution, rather than extending the pains and sorrows all through the life. It will allow the couple to move on in lives, and find their happiness separately.