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Justice Verma Committee Proposes a Bills of Rights for Women

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JUSTICE VERMA COMMITTEE REPORT IMAGEBill of Rights – Statement of Objects and Reasons

 A charter to set out the rights guaranteed to women under the Constitution of India, and to provide for justiciability of the various rights;

 And in consideration of India’s commitment to international conventions including Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

 And to recognize the historical distinctions, exclusions and restrictions on the basis of gender, while also taking note that certain practices including cultural, social, political, religious and customary norms are patriarchal and impair the agency, dignity and equality of women.

And being firmly convinced that any practice that hinders or endangers the normal growth and affects the physical and psychological development of women and girls should be condemned and eliminated;

And being determined to ensure that the rights of women are promoted, realised and protected in order to enable them to enjoy fully all their human rights;

Part I Right to Life, Security, and Bodily Integrity

 1. Every woman shall be entitled to respect for her life and the integrity and security of her person. All forms of violence, exploitation, cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment and treatment targeting women are prohibited.

2. Every woman as the right to dignity inherent in a human being and to the recognition and protection of her human and legal rights.

3. Every woman has the right to be respected as an independent person and to the free development of her personality.

 4. Every woman has the right to express and experience complete sexual autonomy including with respect to her relationships and choice of partners.

 5. Every woman has the right not to be subjected to medical or scientific experiments without her informed consent; with an exception in the case of an emergency;

 6. The State shall ensure to every woman protection from all forms of violence whether the violence takes place in private or public, including unwanted or forced sexual intercourse or activity;

 7. The State shall protect, rescue and rehabilitate every woman who is at the risk of or has been a victim of trafficking and all other forms of such treatment.

8. The State shall promptly provide effective mechanisms and accessible services for information, redressal, rehabilitation and reparation of every woman being a victim of violence.

Part II Democratic and Civil Rights

 9. Every woman should have the right to participative governance through participation without discrimination in all elections; representation at all levels in electoral processes; equal opportunity for partnership in decision making and implementation of development and economic programs.

10. Every woman has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, and belief, including the right to adopt, convert, and to hold opinions without interference.

 11. Every woman has the right to manifest that person’s religion or belief in worship, observance, practice, teaching, ideas, or opinions of her own choosing, either individually or in community with others, both, in public or private.

 12. Every woman has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.

 13. Every woman has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.

 14. Every woman has the right to freedom of association.

 Part III Equality and Non- Discrimination

15. Every woman shall have the right to equality before the law and equal protection of all the laws.

 16. No woman shall be unfairly discriminated on grounds of gender including-

(1) Preventing women from inheriting family property.

 (2) (b) Any practice including traditional, customary or religious practice that impairs dignity of women and undermines equality between women and men, including the undermining of the dignity and wellbeing of the girl child.

(3) Any policy or conduct that unfairly limits access of women to land rights and finance and other resources

(4) Discrimination on grounds of pregnancy

(5) Limiting access to health care, education and other social welfare.

(6) Denying access to opportunities including services or contractual opportunities or failure to accommodate diversity.

 (7) Systematic inequality in access of labour, contractual opportunities etc.

 (8) Systemic inequality to opportunities by women as a result of sexual division of labour.

 (9) Or discrimination by virtue of a woman belonging to another sub-sect of caste, religion, region or race.

 17. Every woman shall have the freedom to marry any person of her choice and be regarded as an equal partner in the marriage.

18. Every woman shall have the same rights in case of separation, divorce and annulment of marriage.

19. Every woman shall have the Right to Free Education until under-graduate level.

20. Every woman especially the girl-child must be protected from all forms of abuse, including sexual harassment in schools and other educational institutions and provide for sanctions against the perpetrators of such practices;

21. Every woman who suffers abuses and sexual harassment must have access to counseling and rehabilitation services to women who suffer abuses and sexual harassment;

22. Every woman shall have the Right to Reproductive and Sexual Health.

23. Every woman shall have the right to nutritious and adequate food as well as access to clean drinking water.

 Part IV Right to Secured spaces

 24. Every woman shall have the right to equal access to housing/shelter and to acceptable living conditions in a healthy environment.

 25. Every woman, whatever her marital status has access to adequate housing/shelter.

 26. Every woman should have access to Public Transport facilities without fear of the risk of violation of her dignity in any form by means of teasing, molestation, stalking etc.

 Part V Special protections

 27. Every elderly woman must have specific measures commensurate with her physical, economic and social needs as well as her access to employment and professional training;

 28. Every elderly woman must have the right to freedom from violence, including sexual abuse, discrimination based on age and the right to be treated with dignity.

 29. Every woman with disability must have special protection and specific measures commensurate with their physical, economic and social needs to facilitate their access to employment, professional and vocational training as well as their participation in decision-making;

 30. Every woman with disability must have freedom from violence, including sexual abuse, discrimination; and the right to be treated with dignity.

 Part VI Special Protection of Women in Distress

31. Every woman below poverty line; and women heads of families including women from marginalized population groups must be able to fulfil their special physical, economic and social needs;

 32. Every pregnant or nursing women or women in detention must be provided with an environment which is suitable to their condition and should be guaranteed the right to be treated with dignity.

121798698-Justice-Verma-Committee-report

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