Gender Sensitization

Topic Gender Sensitization 

Gender sensitization is the process of creating awareness regarding gender equality issues and modifying the behaviour and views that people hold about themselves and other genders. This process helps in examining people’s “personal attitudes and beliefs and questioning the ‘realities’ they thought they know.” of the rights conferred by this Part is guaranteed

The Supreme Court shall have power to issue directions or orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari, whichever may be appropriate, for the enforcement of any of the rights conferred by this Part.

Supreme Court Judgements

The Supreme Court of India through its various judgements has upheld gender equality and justice time and again. Some of the important judgements delivered by the Supreme Court of India are given below:

  • Vishaka and Ors. v State of Rajasthan (1997)

The case deals with various aspects of Sexual Harassment of a women at her workplace. The Supreme Court of India put together the very famous Vishaka guidelines, which made it mandatory for both private and public sectors to set up mechanisms to redress sexual harassment complaints.

  • Vineeta Sharma v Rakesh Sharma 

Supreme Court of India’s judgement in the case of Vineeta Sharma v Rakesh Sharma took a step towards gender equality. In August, 2020, the Supreme Court passed a landmark judgement stating that the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 will have a retrospective effect. The 2005 Amendment modified  Section 6 of the Act in order to align with the constitutional belief of gender equality.

  • Joseph Shine v. Union of India

“The -judge bench unanimously struck down Section 497 IPC saying that it was unconstitutional since the very basis for criminalising adultery was the assumption that a woman is considered as the property of the husband and cannot have relations outside the marriage. The said section violated the right to privacy as well as the liberty of women by discriminating against married women and perpetuating gender stereotypes.”

  • The Secretary, Ministry of Defence v. Babita Puniya & Ors. (2020)

“Permanent Commission should be granted to women in the army regardless of their service, in all the ten streams where the Union Government has already taken a decision to grant the Short Service Commission for women.”

  • Kakali Ghosh v. Chief Secy. A&NAdministration (2014)

“Central Government employee who is a woman and having a minor child could avail a maximum period of 730 days during the entire service period for taking care of her children.”

  • Gender Budget has been made a part of the Union Budget of India since 2005 that entails fund allocation towards programmes/schemes dedicated to women. 

With the help of these programmes and efforts, the Government of India is continuously encouraging gender parity/equality with a focus on alleviating the gender gap in all sectors and at all levels of governance. 

Benefits of Gender Sensitization

Gender sensitization can help in the following ways:

  • Develops mutual respect and empathy towards the opposite gender
  • Can help in decreasing violence and crimes against men, women, transgender and other marginalised communities
  • Helps in changing the attitude and mind-set of individuals
  • Boosts morale of employees in a workspace (especially women).
  • Removes gender biases
  • It will advance gender equality
  • Improves women’s job market participation rate
  • Create a more inclusive society
  • Will give better decision-making power to women
  • Helps in improving the mental health of individuals

Gender sensitization is a need of the hour. With the changing times and changing gender roles, it is important to spread awareness about gender issues and take effective steps to create an enabling environment that is considerate towards the sentiments and choices of all human beings. Breaking gender stereotypes will help both men and women to live a dignified life. Gender inequalities are learned from a young age and that too at various levels i.e. at school, home/family, community etc. Therefore, gender sensitization cannot take place in a day and is a long term process, which requires consistent efforts. Education can play an important role in gender sensitization. Parents and teachers both have to play a key role in making children gender sensitive from a very young age.

Author : Soniya Talreja, a Student of Indore Institute of law BALLB 2nd semester Affiliated to DAVV University 

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