Recently for the past few months, India has made couple of headlines, with new laws that have shed a light to the rise in gender equality. Let us look at what India has achieved in the past few months.
1. Banning of the Triple Talaq
Triple Talaq is the practice of divorce in the Muslim community of India where the husband says the word ‘Talaq’, (divorce in Arabic) thrice and the divorce is settled. Although this practice has existed within Islam for centuries, most predominant Muslim countries have either banned this practice or modified it to stretch over a length of time (such as at least three months). Cases of this practice being misused have been rampant in India. Women have been divorced for small reasons without their consent. The move by the Indian government to ban this was to ensure that husbands do not divorce their wives for whimsical reasons and go through a court procedure in order to legitimize their divorce.
2. Sex with wife under the age of 15 now constitutes as rape
While Indian law already prohibits an adult from having sex with someone below the age of 18, this new law mainly aims at couples who have already married in a country where child-marriage is quite prevalent. It is the first important step in recognizing marital rape in the country, which has previously gone unrecognized in any situation. On top of the fact that child marriage is illegal in the country, with this new law, minors would be better protected from sexual abuse, and it can also help the society move towards doing away with child marriage in practice.
3. Women do NOT have to change their maiden name after marriage anymore
Passed in summer this year, this new law ensures that women can retain their maiden names after marriage and are no longer compelled to take their husband’s family name for any legal purposes, including traveling to other countries and filing any marriage-related petitions. Previously, a woman was compelled to write both her first name and her husband’s full name as ‘her’ name for any marriage-related documentation. Ladies now do not need to do this anymore. Similarly, married women who have been using their husband’s surname no longer have to change it back to their maiden surname in the case of divorce.
YOU GO INDIA!