Feminine Jurisprudence in India

Feminine Jurisprudence in India

“Though the constitution guarantees gender equality, it has not been implemented in the country, in spite of more than 60 years of independence”                           

                                                                                                             —-Justice V. Gopala Godwa

Gender biasness started to show its colour from later Vedic periods and it is now prevalent in almost all societies of the world. Gender Equality intends to provide equal opportunity to the women through initiatives uplifting their relative power, status in household as well as at working places.  Status of women in medieval India was at worse which leads to a patriarchal society and its effect can be encountered in recent times also. In a country like India there was always the need for a law which could protect the weaker section of society i.e. women. Our legislature and Judicial bodies came up with many effective and efficient ideas regarding the same. Feminist Jurisprudence is a philosophy of law based on the political, economical, and social equality of the sexes but the crimes encountered in India make women vulnerable part of society. With the judicial pronouncement and the ideas of women empowerment, feminist revolution came in India. Landmark judgments like Vishakha vs. state of Rajasthan, Joseph Shine vs. Union of India and Nargesh Meerza vs. Air India, Suchita Srivastava and another vs. Chandigarh administration direct this revolution of women feminism.


The preamble of India is framed as an objective resolution or for contemplating the core idea of the constitution. It expressly states that there must be equality in status and opportunity irrespective of gender. The word Equality is used in holistic sense in political, social and economical spheres. Thus the purpose for instituting such right is not only to embellish the constitution but it shows the actual stand of the framer of constitution against any of the then prevailing deformity.

Article 14, 15 &16: – It specifically states that within the territory of India, the state shall not deny to any person equality of law or equal protection of law at the same time article15 (1) prohibits gender discrimination. However, fundamental right contains specific provision to protect the right of women. Article15 (3) positively discriminates in favour of women and permits the states to make provision for them. . Article16 talks about equality of opportunity in case of public employment. Equal employment opportunity means equal access to jobs and condition of work in offices of states.

In case of Randhir singh vs. union of India[1], the court upholds doctrine of equal pay for equal work.

Article 243 J: – This article opens scope for adequate representation of women in Panchayats.

Article21, 23: – Article 21 provides right to life for every person, it encompasses many subsidiary rights as such right to choose living partners, right to lead dignified life and many more. Article 23 restricts forced labor and human trafficking.

In Neerja choudhry vs.  State of Madhya Pradesh[2], Justice Bhagwati held that women and children cannot be compelled to work under unhygienic condition because it is a kind of bonded labor which is prohibited under article21 and article23 of the constitution.


Without a just mechanism even the gods’ rules will fail to achieve its ends. Judiciary is the body which connects public with the ruler through the device of constitutionalism.

In case of Nargesh Meerza vs.  Air India[3], the court opined that woman shall not be denied employment merely on the ground that she is women. This leads to the violation of article14 of the constitution.  .

In the case of Dattatreyamotiram Vs. state of Bombay[4], the Chief Justice Chagla held that “state called discrimination in favour of women against men, but it called not discriminate in favour of men against women”. This is because men are inherently superior.

In Joseph Shine vs. Union of India[5], the court decriminalized adultery, as it suggests narrow outlines of Indian Society where women are treated as chattel. It also compromises the sexual autonomy of female.

In Vishakha vs. state of Rajasthan[6], the court suggests protection of women is of immense importance as they are immune to inhuman instincts. The protection of women at workplace Act was enacted and enforced as well as a committee in every company is required for the same purpose.


In Suchita Srivastava and another vs. Chandigarh administration[7], the court held that “women have right of reproductive choices under Article 21 and it also consists right of procreation of child and abstaining from the same.


However, women rights are violated now and then. Sex violence and gender violence are increasing at an alarming pace. I personally believe that increase in women related violence is the direct result of the fact that difference between men and women is more highlighted lately and women are provided with certain temporary privileges. Equality should be brought to the society where both men and women can embrace it. When violence against woman is highlighted through media, violence against men should also be brought into account. It must be remembered that when woman are expected to stay at home, protect the family and be good mothers, men are accepted to go out and be bread earners. If women are oppressed by the social idea of beauty, male are oppressed by the social idea of success. However present idea of equality is less dynamic in its approach and it must be re-claimed in a way to which even men can relate.

At the same time, it is also important to claim the breaking point of feminism. The more we ask for it, the more somewhere in our mind women are imagined as subjugated.

Finally, in the words of Gandhi Ji, “Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it[8].”


[1] Randhir singh vs. union of India 1982 AIR 879, 1982 SCR (3) 298

[2] Neerja choudhry vs.  State of Madhya Pradesh AIR 1984 SC 1099, 1984 (2) Crimes 511 SC, 1984 LablC 851, 1984 (1) SCALE 874, (1984) 3 SCC 243

[3] Nargesh Meerza vs.  Air India 1981 AIR 1829, 1982 SCR (1) 438

[4] Dattatreyamotiram Vs. state of Bombay AIR 1953 Bom 311, (1953) 55 BOMLR 323, ILR 1953 Bom 842

[5] Joseph Shine v. Union of India, 2018 SCC OnLine SC 1676

[6] Vishakha vs. state of Rajasthan AIR 1997 SUPREME COURT 3011

[7] Suchita Srivastava and another vs. Chandigarh administration (2009) 14 SCR 989

[8] https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/17453-whatever-you-do-will-be-insignificant-but-it-is-very, 27/06/20, 20:12

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