Since ancient times, married women in India have been subjected to a lot of atrocities. Be it sati, harassment for dowry, or domestic violence. Some of these practices still exist and even educated people follow them. Women often choose to stay silent, simply because they are unaware of the married women rights in India. The Constitution of India clearly defines the legal rights of a wife. These laws protect women against injustice and ensure women have equality. When women are aware of their rights, only then they can protect themselves. Here is a list of married women rights in India:
Right Against Domestic Violence
The Domestic Violence Act protects women from domestic violence by her husband or his family. It gives married women in India the legal right to file a petition against their husband or his relatives in case any harm is done to them, whether physical, mental or emotional.
If you or someone you know faces domestic violence you can take the following steps:
Women can file a “Zero FIR”
Call the national helpline 1091
Confide to close friends, family
Don’t be hesitant to seek help from a counsellor
Right To Reside In Marital Home
According to the Hindu Adoptions and Maintenance Act, wives have the right to live in their matrimonial home. A matrimonial home is basically a house, which a woman shares with her husband. The husband or his parents may own the house. It can also be a rented property or officially provided to him. Regardless, whether it is an ancestral or a joint family house, the daughter-in-law has the right to reside in it. She can also reside in her matrimonial home, even if her husband is not there or is dead.
Right To Streedhan
Streedhan refers to the gifts a woman gets during marriage ceremonies and childbirth. This includes any movable, or immovable property, ornaments, presents, money, etc.
The main objective of Streedhan is to provide a married woman with financial safeguards after marriage.
The Supreme court has given women absolute rights over Streedhan. It rules that women don’t lose the right even after divorce. It is the legal right wife in India to have complete ownership rights to all their Streedhan.
The husband and in-laws will be liable to criminal charges if they deny Streedhan to the women. In instances where a mother-in-law holds her daughter-in-law’s Streedhan and dies without a legal will, the married woman has a legal right to it.
Right to Parental Home
Earlier, women had no rights over parental property. Now, married women’s property rights India is equal to their male siblings even after marriage.
Inheritance: Initially, the Hindu Succession Act, did not give daughters and sons equal right in the father’s property. Daughters could enjoy rights on their father’s property only until they got married. In 2005, the act was revised. The new act states that every daughter, whether married or unmarried, has equal rights as her male sibling to inherit her father’s property after his death. Furthermore, the married women’s property rights India also states that daughters have a share in the mother’s property. If the father does not sign any will before his death, they can take the help of court for legal assistance.
Right to Live with Dignity and Respect
A wife has the legal right to live with dignity and self-respect with her in-laws. In India, wives have the legal right to have the same lifestyle that her husband’s and in-laws have. This provides married woman freedom after marriage.
Right to Maintenance by Husband
A wife has the right to claim proper living standards and basic amenities of life from her husband. Though, the benefits are subject to the husband’s living standards, his income and resources.
Right to Child maintenance
It is the duty of the husband and the wife to provide adequate amenities to their minor child. In case the woman doesn’t earn, then it is the responsibility of the man to provide monetary assistance.
In case both partners cannot monetarily support the child, they can take assistance from their parents.