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NHRC Study Reveals That Human Rights Of Women In India Are Restricted In All Spheres. We Didn’t Need A Study To Tell Us That, Did We?

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Recently, many studies are being conducted around the world to understand the position of women and their rights in different aspects of society. In fact, a study of the legislation, schemes, policies, the Constitution, etc. vis-a-vis the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discriminations against Women (CEDAW) and the National Human Rights Commission. This, the first of its kind of study, revealed that the rights of women still continue to be restricted in all spheres of life in India – social, economic, and political. 

The study conducted by the NHRC examined 33 articles of the Constitution, 54 legislation, 63 policies, reports, programmes, rules, regulations, memorandums of understanding, advisories, schemes, etc. to learn the status of implementation of CEDAW in India. The study also highlighted the gaps between its articles and provisions that are set in place to ensure the protection of rights of the women. 

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As per reports, an official related to the NHRC said, “This study gives various recommendations for all the enlisted gaps to guide the law-making and law-implementing agencies and is expected to be of value to the lawmakers, executives, civil society, academicians and students of gender studies, human rights and related disciplines”. 

The study made NHRC identify huge gaps in the realisation of equality and non-discrimination towards women, their immeasurably low representation in upper echelons of law-making, education opportunities, poor employment, and unfriendly laws. Taking into account the participation of women in key roles, the study highlighted that despite the reservations about women, there are very few women in leadership positions – especially at the board level. 

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Out of the entire population of India, only 48.5% of it is women and only 27.4%  of them are in the workforce. The study by NHRC said, “The data shows that there is a continued low representation of women in the upper echelons of law-making… The women representing the State at the international level, including delegations, assignments, postings, commissions, multi-lateral agencies, committees are also very low.” 

The NHRC study also found that violence against women – especially those born out of communal hatred, is still a very prevalent issue in rural areas and targets mainly women belonging to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes. In fact, it found several customs and practices that continue discrimination against women in India and are out of the limits of the legislative framework.

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